It’s Okay to Cry

 

Oh that my head were waters
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!

-Jeremiah 9:1 (NASB)

 

He is known as the weeping prophet.

Jeremiah was born in Anathoth, the son of a Hebrew priest. He lived approximately 650 to 570 B.C., and his ministry spanned the reigns of five kings of Judah: Josiah, JehoahazJehoiakimJehoiachin, and Zedekiah.

He was called from his youth to warn Israel of God’s anger at their idolatry and the impending judgment upon them if they didn’t repent. He suffered much for his obedience to God’s Word, persecuted by his own people. For decades his preaching fell on deaf ears.

Then, as Jeremiah had prophesied, Jerusalem fell captive to a foreign king.

Some are born to see and understand things beyond the natural realm of humanity’s senses. They feel pain deeper, sorrow harder over injustice, and hear the groaning of creation in a way most don’t.

Those who don’t know what to do with the pain live in depression. Those who understand the source, hear the Word of God, and receive the work of the Comforter live in great power. These are the intercessors, the advocates, the men and women who follow after the heart of God. They see His tears. They hear His grief over a dying world.

They weep with Him.

They have the courage to see what the Father sees, to feel what He feels, to be His hands and feet and voice to a world spinning out of control. When others run from danger, they run toward it to warn and rescue the perishing.

Their pain inspires them to positive action. Their suffering inspires them to love deeper, to speak the truth in gentleness.

If you look out over your world today and feel like crying, it’s okay. In fact, it’s good. Some people, like Jeremiah, were born to weep. Let your tears wash away the self-centeredness that is common to us all and inspire you to prayer more, love deeper, and speak the Word in truth.

Our planet is dying. Billions of people will die with it without ever knowing the Savior.

It’s okay to cry.

Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

-Ecclesiates 1:18 (NASB)

 

 

When Integrity Made a Nation Great

“Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

-Francis Scott Key

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

-Hebrews 11:13 (NASB)

One day recently, I awakened to discover that my father’s America had died.

Thankfully, he had already left this earth behind and was not here to mourn her passing. Thankfully, he left when she was alive, if not well. Thankfully, he would never know that the color of his skin marked him as inherently evil and a man of privilege in the brave new world that creates reality out of perception. In his America, it was possible for a man to overcome the circumstances of his birth.

As my dad grew up in the Midwest in the 1930’s, he had been repeatedly and systematically abused by a sadistic father. But instead of using the violence perpetrated against him as an excuse to victimize others, Dad understood the injustice of hurting the innocent because he had suffered. He knew that no matter how he had been treated, it was never right to be cruel to others. His own father’s failures challenged him to grow up to be a better man, a kinder human being, the antithesis of his dad. He taught us to treat all men as we would want to be treated. 

My dad came to manhood in the shadow of a name smothered in the shame of his father. He always believed that it was hard work and the grace of God that delivered him from a childhood of poverty and abuse. He worked hard to give us a name we would be proud to wear. In my father’s America, hard work and the grace of God were honored concepts, and it was integrity that made a nation great.

In my father’s America, it was possible to transcend injustice. Reaching heavenward was encouraged and godly values were treasured. Age and experience were respected, and the flag was never allowed to touch the ground.

My father proudly served in the United States Navy. When he married and had a family, he worked hard to give us the life he never had. He loved this country and all it stood for. If he were here today to witness the burning of our history, our culture, and our future as a nation, he would weep.

Then he would remind me that this place is not our home, that we are just passing through to a greater land. He would tell me that this life is the preparation for the one to come. He would assure me that this, too, shall pass.

Whether or not America survives her current challenges is anyone’s guess. I am grateful to have lived in such a wonderful country.

But today I grieve for this nation, and I am glad that I am just passing through.

 

“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”
-Hebrews 11:16 (NASB)