Tears: A Pilgrim’s Marker

This year marks 12 years since I became a Christian. I still remember the day I got saved so vividly. For many weeks I had gripped the backs of the pews, trying to resist the drawing of the Father. But, He would not let me go. I remember being asked if I wanted to go forward. I couldn’t speak; all I could do was nod my head. And there at the altar, as the pastor prayed with me, I repented of my sins and was forgiven of them by my Savior, Jesus Christ. In that little church, the Holy Spirit came to live in me and He ministered to me. I began to weep like never before, not out of embarrassment, but with newfound joy in my heart, spilling over. These tears marked the first day of my new life in Christ.

The second time I wept this way happened during high school. My church’s youth group went to a Summer conference in Daytona Beach. If you have ever been to a youth conference you know that it is typical to see many people crying during the worship times. I am sure that many of the students are just caught up in the moment, which can extremely emotional, if nothing more. But, as I can testify, this is not always the case. I remember that the entire stadium was singing Revelation Song, a beautiful worship song about the throne room of God. In that moment, the Spirit of God fell on me. I began to weep with my face in my hands. All of my youth group thought something was seriously wrong with me and were concerned. I am thankful for my youth pastor who told them I was fine and that God was ministering to me. And minister He did. It was that night that I had encountered the holiness of God in a real, tangible way. It changed me; it changed the way I approached Him.

The third time the Spirit of God fell was more recent. In fact, it was within the last year. It was just me at home, so I decided to watch a quick sermon as I was cleaning the house. The preacher was talking about unbelief in our lives and ministries. I was enjoying it, but I wouldn’t say that it was “stirring my emotions.” Then the preacher quoted the word of God. He said, “Help my unbelief!” It was at that moment that the weeping came once again as I began to feel the weight of the unbelief in my heart. I knew it was God doing a work in me because it felt like a dam of tears had just been released. It was a tremendous time of repentance and healing for me.

I share all of this because tears, for me, are not typical. During some of the most difficult and sad times of my life, I have struggled to find even one tear to cry. My wife could count on one hand how many times she has seen me cry. In my life, God has used tears in my sanctification process. They are the outward expression of what is taking place in my soul. I don’t believe everyone will have the same experience, but if you are anything like me, you probably have some similar stories. These times of weeping are like markers on our way to heaven. God uses them often to remind me of who He is, what He has done, and what He is going to do. Though these tears can be uncomfortable at times, because they are over my own sin, God does not leave me in despair. Instead, He brings me comfort and joy.

Psalm 30:5 “His anger lasts only a moment. His favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may last for the night, but there is a song of joy in the morning.” God’s Word Translation

Have you ever experienced this in your life? What are some ways God has ministered to you in the past?

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