Among the last things God has promised to bring to an end is our tears. Not the basal tears of a healthy eye, or the cleansing tears caused by slicing an onion, but those caused as a result of death, sorrow, crying, and pain (Rev 21:4). There will be no more tears because the root cause of those tears will be removed. However, David says no tears have ever missed the record of our compassionate Great High Priest. “Put thou my tears in a bottle, are they not in thy book?” (Psa 56:8, KJV).
Death: The first mention of weeping in the Bible is in reference to Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar, as she anticipated the death of her only child. What led to this moment of despair was Sarah’s unbelief and Abraham’s lack of responsible leadership in an attempt to help fulfill God’s promise. The fallout was a strain in household relationships. God graciously intervened, and Hagar was spared the anguish of seeing her child die, but we still experience what Hebrews 2:15 says. “Who through the fear of death are all their lifetime subject to bondage” (KJV).
Sorrow: Esau’s remorse over selling his birthright is palpable. “For he found no place of repentance though he sought it carefully with tears” (Heb 12:17, KJV). Many of our choices cannot be undone nor their effect mitigated. Like Esau, we often gratify self in the moment, counting the physical and immediate of more value than the invisible and eternal.
Crying: The chief Psalmist is forever crying out over warring humanity, injustice in society, the sorrows of life, and the seeming slowness of God to stop evil doers and assuage suffering. All other resources exhausted and, at wit’s end, David cries out with utter dependence on the mercies of God to deliver him. His loudest cries are those times he is struck with the gravity of his own sin. In Psalm 38, his crying builds to a crescendo of roars and groans. Even mighty king David recognizes, again and again, his dire need of a Savior.
Pain: In Job’s pain, we see that even the faithful may be afflicted, be it emotionally or physically. Not all suffering is a result of personal sin. It may be a trial allowed by God to develop or display Christlikeness in us. Books have been written about the problem of pain, reasons for pain, and even the “benefits” of pain. Those who live in constant pain are less interested in more information about pain. They are longing for the day when they will be delivered from it. When will God wipe away tears? Perhaps at the Bema when we see things from heaven’s viewpoint and shed our last tears over missed opportunities and wasted years. When a child rushes to a parent in tears with an injury, a mother first tends the wound and then pulls out the tissue to wipe the tears and takes time to console and comfort. Will our Heavenly Father be less compassionate? Will he not explain the unanswered “why’s?” of the many tears shed in this life as we enter life eternal? This we do know: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (KJV).