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Whose Tears?

by Dr. Walter L. Wilson

Walter L. WilsonThe chemist would say that tears are a combination of sodium chloride, phosphate of lime, mucus and water. The pastor would say that tears are the bleeding of a broken heart. The police officer would say that tears are a sign of weakness.

There is much about tears in the Bible. Our Saviour only left two things on earth that were a part of Himself; His tears and His blood. His tears revealed that His heart was touched with the feeling of our infirmities and that He is glad to bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. His blood bears testimony to His great desire to cleanse us from iniquity and sin. In Gethsemane the Saviour prayed with strong crying and tears.

A QUEEN'S TEARS are mentioned in Esther 8:3. Here this lovely Jewess presented her petition to the king for the preservation of her people. The prayer was effective, the king was moved, the petition was granted. She made request for her people at the risk of her own life. These tears revealed her earnestness, her devotion, her purpose of heart. Praying with tears is usually effective.

A FARMER'S TEARS are referred to in Psalm 126:5,6. Salt water seems to make seed grow. Why should a sower be weeping? What is there about the seed or the soil or the service to bring tears to the eyes? This passage says, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." The passage is referring to the sowing of the seed of the Gospel, not corn or wheat or barley. The tears come because of the tragedy of a life in which there is no Christ. When God's long-suffering ends, the sinner's long-suffering begins. The tears are there because of the danger that lies ahead in the path of that one who has not yet received the good seed into his heart. The tears show that we believe. The tears are proof that we care when we go out with the Gospel. The Lord enable us to mourn for lost men!

A FATHER'S TEARS are brought before us in Mark 9:24. What a scene of sorrow this is. It is reenacted over and over again in many homes. Here is a wicked boy with a praying father. What anguish that father had seen as the wicked spirit had afflicted the lad. The father's heart yearning over the boy could not be comforted. How cruel the devil is. He wrecks the life and laughs at the wreck. He ruins the soul and rejoices over the ruin. He breaks the heart and pours liquid fire into the wound. There is no grace in the devil's program. There is no mercy in Satan's plan. The father's prayer is recorded in this passage as he came to Jesus and said WITH TEARS, "Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief." Such tears are precious in the sight of the Lord. Such tears tell of a true heart, a believing heart, a downright earnest heart. Such tears have power with God. Bring your boy, father; bring your daughter. He will see your tears and answer your cry.

A SINNER'S TEARS move our hearts as we read Luke 7:38. Here a sinful woman is seen kneeling at Jesus' feet. She washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Probably she had been standing in some dark doorway on a street of Capernaum when Jesus uttered that memorable cry, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). All the men she had ever met came to rob her. They had probably taken all she had, even her virtue. They had added to her troubles and increased her sorrows. Here was a Man who would give rest to her troubled heart. She brought her alabaster box, the oriental girl's hope chest and crushed it at the feet of the One to whom she would give her heart and her love. Christ saw those tears. They revealed her true repentance. He gave from His heart forgiveness and peace. Have you been to the Savior's feet with your tears? Have you ever really come to Him for what only He can give? Kneel there today, a suppliant for His mercy.

THE TEARS OF A KING as he wept upon his bed in the presence of death (2 Kings 20:5) remind us that even royalty may be wretched. Kings and queens do have tears, so do statesmen and bankers, admirals and presidents. The wealthy, the strong, the prominent, all have tears; sorrow is universal. It may enter any heart, where no means of men can prevent it. The tears of Hezekiah, the king, touched the heart of God and brought to him fifteen additional years for his life. Praying with tears is usually effective. Dry-eyed prayers often come from dry hearts. Dry hearts do not produce the flowers that bloom with Heaven's graces. Let us pray the Lord to give us soft hearts.

HANNAH PRAYED WITH TEARS (I Samuel 1:10). Here was a woman who saw the great need of Israel and prayed for a son who might bring the people back to God. She was a barren woman. Though she was barren of children, her heart was rich in its desires toward God. She saw the need of the people, she realized the need of God's presence, she craved being the instrument through whom the deliverer might come. Again the Lord saw those precious tears, looked into that praying heart and granted the desire of her soul. O that we too might thus weep over the need and receive the answer from Heaven.

A MIGHTY PREACHER HAD TEARS (Acts 20:19). The Apostle Paul who was mighty in word and deed had a tender heart. He wept over the people of God night and day. His were not dry sermons. They were moistened with tears. His were not cold sermons. Hot tears from a warm heart told of his deep love for those to whom he ministered in Ephesus. He wept because he cared. These new converts were a burden on his soul. His protracted meeting was three years long (Acts 20:31). We do not know, when he took up the collection, but we do know when he wept. What a model preacher he was. May God give us tender hearts, moistened eyes and spirits that love those to whom we minister.

From Strange Short Stories by Dr. Walter Lewis Wilson. Findlay, Ohio: Dunham Publishing Company, 1936.

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