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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tears in a Bottle

How do you handle the difficulties of this life?
Tears in a Bottle
When I fly down to MD Anderson, I will use Uber to get to where I am staying or if I need to travel in the city while there.  I have found those trips to be an interesting opportunity to speak of Christ to the drivers.  One of them shared with me that his son was shot and killed while playing a pick-up basketball game.  I asked him how he handled the pain.  That led to a conversation that dealt with faith.

While I have experienced the death of close family members, I have not experienced the murder of a child.  You may have.  The reality of our lives here is that we are living in a broken world that is groaning under the effects of sin, our sin.  Not as categorized by those who champion causes in order to attempt to have man do the “right” thing for the environment or humanitarian issues.  No, it is the result of categorically rejecting the One who created this world and those of us who populate it.

In the midst of this broken reality, by His grace, some have come to trust Him.  However, all who trust Him are still resident in the reality of this sin ravaged world.

As a result, there is still struggle, suffering, persecution, illness, strife…

How do we handle that?

Psalm 56:8 (here @ Bible Gateway), may help.  Reading through this psalm this morning I was stopped by the words David penned.  Consider the import of what he shares there.  The Lord knows my wanderings, he puts my tears in a bottle and categorizes them. 

Think of that.  In the midst of both the suffering that we endure because we live in a broken world, and the consequences of our bad choices, our Creator collects our tears and categorizes them.  He is intimately engaged in our suffering.  He knows specifically what has caused that pain. 

This aligns perfectly with several other passages of Scripture, but two stand out.  Psalm 139:3 (here @ Bible Gateway) tells us that He knows the details of our lives.  1 John 4:7 – 11 (here @ Bible Gateway), reminds us that He loves us so much that He died for us.  He died to relieve the suffering He is cataloging.

When we hurt.  When we are in deep despair.  We can know that our Lord not only knows, but is intimately familiar with what is causing that pain, and further has already acted to relieve it.