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Seeds of the Kingdom

Tears in a Bottle

by Liz Griffin

9 November 2013

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You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
Psalm 56:8, NLT

Why would anyone put tears in a bottle? There was an ancient custom of the Romans and Greeks for the mourners at a funeral to have someone wipe their tears with a cloth and then squeeze them into a small bottle which would be buried along with the body. These tears were precious gifts to the dead person. They showed the love of the bereaved person who was sorrowing.

When David was seized by the Philistines in Gath he wrote the words of Psalm 56, and said his tears were being kept by God in a bottle and being written down in God’s book. David had a close relationship with God and loved Him very much. He knew God understood all his emotions, and cared about his grief and troubles.

We know Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, that He was overwhelmed with sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane, and that He wept over Jerusalem. ‘And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it’ (Luke 19:41). He was crying tears for the suffering of His beloved people. The prophets did the same as they delivered God’s message of judgement and suffering to come. They were reflecting God’s heart. God weeps over His people and longs to restore them.

In the healing prayer ministry we see many tears shed and we have boxes of tissues ready. Many of these tears bring healing as the grief of the past is emptied out. But sometimes there are tears of relief and joy, as healing comes from Jesus. And sometimes we cry too when we hear the testimony of God’s people being touched and healed so deeply.

David says to God ‘You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book’. God is for us. He’s on our side. He understands. He knows how many hairs we have on our head. He keeps account of every tear we shed. His heart is to restore every broken place in our lives.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, how encouraged I am to know that You love me so much that You care about every tear I’ve ever shed. You understand all my pain and sorrow and You want to bring Your comfort and healing to me. Help me to trust You and be confident that you are ‘for me’, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.


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