Friday, December 12, 2008

Weeping Willows Rejoice!

by Marsha Loftis

This Week's Verse: Psalm 56:8, "You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book."

Devotion
I recently read a wonderful work of fiction. I won’t reveal what the book was in case you haven’t read it. I don’t want to give anything away. If you have read it, you may recognize what I’m about to tell you and you may want to do what I did… Read it AGAIN!

The author suggests that people collect things because they are valuable. Either to everyone, or to the individual. He also suggests that the Holy Spirit collects our tears. That every single one shed is so valuable that God has directed the Spirit to collect each one in a bottle. Isn’t that wonderful?!

I cry in church. There, I said it. Sometimes it embarrasses me. There, I said that too! There are times when I think, “Goodness, Girl! Why can’t you keep it together?!” I don’t always know what makes the tears come. Sometimes, when I close my eyes the church sounds as close to angels as I can imagine. (We are so blessed to have the Praise Band, don’t ya think?) Anyway, the beauty of all those voices brings tears to my eyes. Sometimes, I’ve had a particularly awful week and to be there, in the midst of the beauty and the presence of God brings on the waterworks. There are times that I am so thankful for what God has done in my life, there’s nothing I can do but weep.

This past week, we were in the middle of the song “Offering” when, of course out of nowhere, here come the tears. I thought of the Holy Spirit collecting each one that spilled out of of my eyes. While I sang, “I bring an offering of worship to my King, no one on earth deserves the praises that I sing…” I could feel His presence, and see the other offerings that were being lifted up to Our King… Hands raised high, heads bowed low, arms spread wide... and my tears beginning to fall.

I will no longer be embarrassed by my tears. They are an offering of worship to my King! When I leave the ‘building’ from now on with slightly swollen eyes, wearing less make-up than when I came in and a gnarled, balled up Kleenex in my hand I will feel as though I have been to church! I have been in His presence and I have worshipped at the feet of Jesus!

Fellow Weeping Willows, fear not; your tears are precious! There’s no need to be embarrassed… We are in good company. Remember? “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

Father, thank you for showing me one more way to worship You. Thank you for my tears and the cleasning feeling that they bring. They let me leave it all with you and convince me that when I feel like I'm falling apart that You will be there to put me back together again. Just like the stars in the sky, You count my tears and value each one as a gift given unto You. Blessed Be Your Name, Amen.

Application:
Worship was meant to be personal. That's why there are so many ways to do it. Whatever fits your personality and your relationship with Christ. Sometimes it’s hard to express what is in your heart. Whether your tears are born from joy or sorrow, love or laughter, thankfulness or regret, remember that the One who knit you together in your mother's womb sees and records every one. Whatever position you choose to worship… Hands raised, head bowed, kneeling, standing, face down on the floor or crying a river for The King. Be assured, it won’t be wrong. God will honor what’s in your heart, not what position you’re in.

Power Verses:
John 11:33-35, “When Jesus saw her weeping… He was deeply moved in spirit…Jesus wept.” (NIV)
2 Kings 20:5, “This is what the Lord, God of your father David, says: I have heard you prayers and seen your tears; I will heal you.” (NIV)
Psalm 30:5, "The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter." (MSG)
Jeremiah 31:9, "Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care."(NLT)
Luke 6:21, "You're blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning."(MSG)

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Marsh, I'm SO right there with you. Shane's aunt told me once that God collects our tears in bottles too, but I was never able to find the scripture. Thanks for that and for such a beautiful reminder that He does see and is moved by our tears of every type.

Marsha said...

I'm going to have give that one to our fearless leader! John's the one who found the verse for me.