No matter what we suffer in this life, God is for us and actively involved. Psalm 56:11 tells us that God collects our tears in his bottle. This always reminds me of the memory books I kept for my children when they were young. I saved a lock of hair from their first haircuts, saved the armbands we wore in the hospital, and even took a picture of one’s first Band-Aid for her baby book. I wasn’t able to shield them from all the insults of life, but I do remember that those bad experiences were often useful in teaching them lessons. If they fell down because they were doing something dangerous, they were more careful the next time. Although God does have the power to shield us from all harm, we live in a fallen world and he does not always do it. I believe that is because there are precious lessons to be learned from suffering. How would we understand or appreciate his goodness if we did not have pain and sorrow? We would take it all for granted. As much as I hate trials and tribulation, I have to say that they have been amazing tutors. I have learned so much about his faithfulness, and so much about my weaknesses. I have learned that no matter what happens, he is with me, just as any loving parent would be. He collects my tears in his bottle, and records my sorrows in his memory book. They are precious to him, as I am. He is for me! Many people see suffering as a sign that God doesn’t care, or that he has abandoned them, but it is quite the opposite. When you seek him, you will find he is closest to the brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18). Trouble is not a sign of an uncaring God, but a chance to prove his love.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat. This I know: God is on my side. O God, I praise your word. Yes, LORD, I praise your word. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Ps. 56:8-11 NLT
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:32-39
Lord, thank you for caring so deeply for us. Even when things are difficult, you lovingly hold us and save our tears. I remember hearing that in ancient times, tears were used to make perfume. The maker would add fragrance to the tears to make something beautiful. That’s exactly what you do. You take our pains and sorrows and turn them into something beautiful. Thank you Lord that nothing is wasted in your kingdom, and that you have good intentions even when bad things happen. I appreciate that so much. Thank you for your tender loving care. Amen