Elijah cried out to the Lord that he just wanted to die. He begged the Lord to take his life. To know that a great man of God struggled with depression and temptation comforts me in a way. It helps me to realize that when I struggle with these thoughts, I am at least in good company. Perhaps, I am not as spiritually immature as I might have thought. The truth is that the human experience will have moments of struggle, depression, and despair no matter who you are and no matter what position you may have in the church. #thestruggleisreal
Now that we have settled that, let’s talk about what to do with these emotions. Let me draw your attention to a woman. She walked into a room where she never should have been. She let down her hair forsaking the opinion of all those around her and they ridiculed her. She broke her jar of perfume and began to anoint Jesus with it. Tears began to fall down her face as she gave her offering. The Bible says she used her tears to wash Jesus’ feet. Heartache and pain poured out of her as she sat, for the first time, in the presence of unconditional love. Is it possible that my pain and heartache is to be an offering pleasing to the Lord? Yes, He calls us to give Him our tears.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
Our tears are compared to seeds. Seeds must be planted in fertile soil. They will die in the dirt. The fertile soil will bring to life that which had died. If seeds are planted in infertile soil, nothing happens. Where we take our tears is the difference in a scarce crop of despair or an abundant crop of joy. Where do you take your tears?
We often drop our tears into infertile grounds that only produce pity or attention. We go on long Facebook rants just to get others to tell us how right we are in our offense. We sow our tears into gossip circles that produce a spirit of anger and vengeance. The only fertile ground that can produce life is that of prayer, worship, weeping, and pouring out our tears into the hands of our Lord.
To confess our heartache and pain from the repeated strike of emotional wounds is to acknowledge that God is able to bring life out of death. He restores hope. We reap songs of joy from tears of pain.
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings
Weeping before the Lord acknowledges Him as our Friend, our Savior, our God, our Counselor, and our Healer. In Hosea, God says this is better than a burnt offering. A burnt offering was an offering of total devotion. If we can learn to acknowledge God in our suffering and weep in His presence, we will be cleansed in his Presence. He is drawn near to our pain like a father who hears his child crying in the other room. He quickly moves to that child to comfort, console, and change their circumstances. Is it possible that suicidal thoughts root themselves in our hearts when we don’t offer our tears to the Lord?
God is fully aware of the pain we experience every single day. He knows our hearts better than we know our own hearts. If we weep and sob, but not in the presence of the Lord, depression becomes a formidable foe. Let us weep and wail before our Lord and healing will begin.
If you are someone who has struggled with depression and/or suicide, where do you take your tears? Leave me a comment so I can be in prayer with you.