Grace to you and peace!
In my morning Bible reading this week I was drawn to an amazing truth from the early chapters of Exodus. God hears our cries!
The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them. (Exodus 2)
God heard the cries of the Israelites, look upon them and took notice of them!
Through all of history God has heard the cries of his people. God heard the cry of Hagar and her boy (Genesis 21.15-19). God heard the cry of Hannah (1 Samuel 1). God heard the cry of Mary weeping outside the tomb of Jesus (John 20.11ff). Jesus heard the cry of Martha, Mary and the friends of Lazarus, and Jesus wept with them (John 11). God hears the cries of his people and God responds!
The Psalmist David gave testimony to this truth in his personal song of praise,
17 The Lord hears his people when they cry to him for help. God rescues them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; the Lord rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalm 34)
The last year has brought various occasions for tears, crying and crushed spirits. We have grieved the death of friends and loved ones, felt the loss of in person connections with family and friends, experienced times of feeling so alone; we have longed to be with those who are hurting, aging, experiencing personal crisis, living through significant life transition, but this pandemic has keep us apart; we have watched the struggle and heard the cries of our children as they work at on line learning when in person learning at school is what they long for and need; we have faced our own daily challenges in the midst of this pandemic, at times we have thrived and at other times barely survived; we have felt the multiple losses over the last 10 months and we have grieved, and we have cried. And we still do!
The story of God’s people reminds us that when we cry God hears!
And when we weep God takes notice and God cares! Psalm 56.8 tells us that God keeps track of all our sorrows. Collects all our tears in a bottle, recording each one in God’s book.
Each time we cry, each tear we shed is remembered and is held by God.
And through a text, phone call, note or card; through an act of kindness by a neighbour or a friend; through a word of grace from a fellow traveller on this journey; through the hug from your child or grandchild; through a word of scripture; through the work of the Spirit in ways we may never fully understand; God acts to honour our tears, to restore our souls and to bring us to new freedom, life and joy!
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert.
5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. (Psalm 126)