"Don't cry."

Tears streamed down my face as I exposed my grief and asked for prayer. While I was met with so much loving biblical encouragement, I remember the pat on the back I received along with these words: "Don't cry. God is in control." It felt a bit like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. I believed (still do) that God is in control, yet the tears kept falling. Everything still ached.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

We love the first part of this verse, yet often fall short in the second. It's especially difficult for us to carry this out in the west. The pursuit of comfort, ease, and happiness has pushed us to avoid sadness at all costs. We seek to numb and distract pain, rather than minister, tend to deep wounds, and point people toward true Hope. It's much more fun to rejoice with those who rejoice than to weep with those who weep. This can feel especially isolating for grievers.

Yes, God is in control. This is a promise that provides us with more hope than anything else in the universe. It is an incredible reassurance that we can depend on. His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. He upholds the universe. He will swallow up death forever.

And yet, until that day, we will experience pain. We will mourn and lament as we await the day when every tear is wiped away from our bloodshot eyes, keeping our eyes fixed on the One who holds all things together.

Jesus, who cried at the grave of his friend Lazarus, welcomes your tears. Jesus, who cried out to God in the garden the night before he would be crucified, knows your pain.

Your tears are so precious to God.