2 Corinthians 6:6 (NLT)
We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us and by our sincere love.
Growing up, I hated to cry. In my mind, it represented weakness. A sign that I was not as strong as I should be and definitely not the approach to life I wanted to take. In those early years, after our young parents divorced it was a very challenging time for my brother and I. I felt like his guardian who must face the world on his behalf, as well as my own. Before my father and new mother stepped in to raise us, there were many difficult times in our unstable life. My poor biological mother did her very best but was just not able to care for us and protect us as she should. Tears expressed a vulnerability that was unacceptable. There were many times I at night alone that I would want to cry but refused to let it out. The only time that they seemed to get past my guarded resolve was in frustration which only made me more determined to not cry ever especially in front of other people. That was then…this is now.
I have found in adulthood through the transformation of Jesus Christ that I cry more than ever. Dang those tears, I still get anxious when I sense that I am on the verge of a downpour. In the three years that our son battled cancer, I can remember crying three times. That’s it. Even living in the midst of brokenness with tears just behind my eyes, I refused to let them out. Now after the fact with all of our children safe – one lives in Texas pursing his dreams, one is back in college after winning his fight, one is with her new husband in ministry in New Hampshire and two more navigating the teenage years discovering who they are and what they want to be, life is good. So why so many tears? Is there really such a thing as happy tears?
I am beginning to believe that tears come from a broken heart. Brokenness is not always a bad thing. It marks the beginning of new growth and periods of rebuilding. I can remember people time and time again telling me throughout our son’s ordeal, I just don’t know how you do it. Well, the truth is life does not give us a choice. Our life is predetermined by God. He knows everything that will happen. He knows every temptation we will face. He also knows exactly how much grace and mercy that we need to overcome ourselves and walk with Him. He knows our weakness. When we are weak is the exact moment that we become strong.
We prove our love for Christ in our “purity, understanding, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit working inside of us AND by our sincere love. The word sincere means free from deceit, hypocrisy and falseness. Marked by purity, it is genuine and real. The word “sincerity” means freedom from those things that make our love untrue. We must come to the Lord with sincere hearts which are broken before Him. For years a wall of water surrounded my heart fortifying it making it impenetrable. Brokenness changed all of that in a moment and the tears are now freely flowing.
Psalm 15:1-2 (NLT)
Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
What good are prayers if they are only words bouncing off of Heaven’s door? What good is love if it is not sincere? It creates false hope. We are to have faith and confident hope. To enter the Presence of God – we must lead blameless lives. This does not mean to live a sinless and perfect existence for this is impossible in our human state. To live a blameless life means to be so captivated by His Unfailing Love and Unfathomable Grace that we do not want to sin and must repent when we do as not to be moved from our position in Jesus Christ. To want a relationship with the Lord more than another form of companionship. It is to want His Way more than our own. The desire to remain in Christ leads us to live a blameless life. But there is more that we must be conscious of and that is to have a sincere heart. A heart that is truly and genuinely in love with Jesus. A heart that is emptied of hypocrisy, impurity, deceitfulness and sin…daily if not moment by moment as to not interfere with our connection to Christ. The product of such seems to be streaming tears.
Hebrews 10:21-23 (NLT)
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
To live in the Presence of God requires faith and trust in the Lord. Why would He let a traitor come and rob the Kingdom? Sincere hearts trust the Lord even when things don’t go as we planned. The pressure to hold on to what He has promised and the hope that we have can squeeze our heart which makes tears come pouring out. God doesn’t see that as weakness but carefully and lovingly catches every single one. (Psalm 56:8) He keeps every happy one, sad one, mad one and even those expressing our frustration because the Lord promises to make good out of every detail of our life. When we cannot hold back our tears, it is the moment that our heart is sincere. It is broken and open for the Lord to mold it and shape it to receive every promise that He gives. The Blood of Jesus cleans us. It is up to us to access its flow through repentance. We wash ourselves in the water of the Word. This allows us to strive to live blamelessly before God and His Spirit empowers every area of our life that He is given access to. Suddenly, weakness and vulnerability become okay in life. We can cry happy tears, sad tears, and even mad tears knowing there is purpose and meaning beyond our five senses and crazy emotions.
Hebrews 11:5-6 (NLT)
It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
When my sweet “Gram” was in her nineties, the doctors discovered a brain tumor. Although she was advanced in age, the years had not caught up with her. Her physician offered to do surgery and extend her life longer. Visiting with her shortly after the diagnosis, I wanted to beg her to take their offer for purely selfish reasons. She told me that she had lived a long and wonderful life. She had found the love of her life who preceded her to Eternity after 70 years of wedded bliss. She had children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who she loved dearly but she was ready to be with Jesus. There was no fear or doubt just insistent resolve. Thought they gave her almost a year to live, she was with her Lord in a couple short months. I have met others with the very same resolve. I want to be one of them who like Enoch lived a blameless, not perfect, life and then was swept away in God’s Love. I want to be known as someone who pleases God. It is impossible to do so without faith. Our faith must be sincere. Our belief in God must be genuine and true without a falseness or hypocrisy to live with Him forever. He rewards those who sincerely seek Him. I want to be that person. If it requires being broken over and over again, so be it.
I Peter 1:21-23 (NLT)
Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.
How can we live for Christ openly and not let people see our heart? The truth is it is impossible to truly love others until our heart is broken before the Lord. Our selfish and sinful nature will not allow it. I cry all the time now. I still don’t like it but I am learning to live with it. It seems these days that it takes less and less to access my heart and press tears out. Dang it. It still makes me cringe and even feel silly sometimes. People make me cry just because I love them. Worship makes me cry just because I love Him. I have even felt the hot tears running down my face reading His Word when I discover that He is talking about me or better yet directly to me. I cry at home. I cry in the car. I cry at work. I cry at church. But the difference is that most of the time it is not because I am sad or sorrowful but just overwhelmed by the Love that I have found in Him that seems to find its way out in salty tears. So I guess I will be a cry baby for Christ for the rest of my life so please bear with me. This life will end and one day I will live with Jesus forever. It is then that I will finally achieve a life without tears for He shall wipe away every single one and redeem those carefully collected in His Bottle. I trust God. I have placed all my faith and hope in God thanks to Jesus. I am forever grateful for His Love and Grace that found me and could not bear to leave me in such a state. If tears come with it, then so be it. Lord, let my life be sincerely Yours!
Psalm 51:16-17 (NLT)
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.