Around these parts it’s been raining almost non-stop for over 24 hours now.  And it’s made me think about tears.  I’ve shed a lot of tears over the past year.  Now, I’m a cryer by nature, but even for me it’s been excessive . . . and it’s getting worse.

But here’s the interesting thing.  Until very recently, my tears were tears of sorrow, of sadness, of shame, of frustration, envy, resentment, discontent; they were tears caused by pain, stress, anxiety and extreme weariness.

But, something’s been happening.  I’ve been talking to God.  And at 11:00 on a Friday morning on July 27, God began a conversation with me . . . which was really a continuation of a conversation we began in February . . . which was probably a continuation of a conversation begun on a Sunday in the 2nd grade . . . which may well have been a continuation of a conversation begun at birth or in all likelihood at conception or perhaps even begun in the mystery before time . . .

At any rate, this paragraph of the conversation, in and out of which other people flowed to be used by God to speak, encourage and challenge began on that Friday morning and continued off and on (mostly on) into the following Monday evening, reaching its peak at 8:45 p.m, at which time, though I was only beginning to be aware of it, my tears were altered radically.

It began that Sunday, in the middle of the conversation, when a scripture verse read responsively in the service caused me to weep, not in pain or regret but awed by the beauty of the truth it represented, the love that inspired it.

And now I am noticing my tears of sorrow mingle with tears of joy.  I’m weeping in gratitude for the love shown to me.  My tears of frustration and resentment are being replaced by tears of faith and hope.  Each time I read God’s word or steal an hour, a few minutes, a moment to pray is an occasion for tears – tears of gratitude for the slaking of my thirst in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

I’m finding as I go to my friend Jesus and tell Him about everything that makes me sad – there is less to be sad about.  As I take my fears to my Daddy – I find there is less to be afraid of.  As I talk to Him about my frustration and anxiety, the Holy Spirit floods my soul with peace.  As I surrender control, I find true freedom. 

I’m finding joy in the companionship of the One who knows me fully yet loves me completely.  I have hope that as I place my trust in Him, He will give my heart what to desire.

The more I know Him, the more I want to know Him.  He must increase, I must decrease.  That’s the only true path to peace, joy and love.  That’s the only way to find healing for our hurts; the only way to know lasting joy in the midst of suffering. 

It’s the only way to experience and be part of bringing His kingdom on earth.

Which kind of tears are you crying?