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tears this side of heaven...

Yesterday, in the silence of the church building, our community of believers prayed...we prayed for a wife of one of our pastors who is stricken with cancer, permeating throughout her body more and more everyday - the end no one knows...we prayed for prodigal sons and daughters their parents who so desperately wish them to come home...we prayed for marriages all over...we prayed for addictions that people are struggling with...we prayed for the unborn children in our midst and the parents who received heavy, hurtful news this past week...we sat, and we prayed. We prayed that every situation would bring glory to God somehow. Led by our pastor, there was no sermon, there was simple quietness, being still in the midst of a lot of pain and suffering, making our petitions to the Lord, praying for His mercy and guidance. One couldn't help but feel the tears welling up in the eyes all over the place, stripping every single one of us down to the bare heart, to the core of who we are, knowing God sees all and hiding is not an option. Sin is real, we are real, hope is real, miracles are real, forgiveness is real, joy is real, God is real...I have no doubt every single one of us was reminded of this by the time we left. Laying in bed this morning, my thoughts couldn't help but turn towards all of the tears this side of heaven. I thought of the woman in Luke 7 who came to the Pharisees house upon hearing Jesus was there, took her perfume and wept, kissing Jesus' feet. She was no stranger to sin and I choose to believe that upon seeing Jesus, she was stripped to the core of her being, seeing her sin, recognizing the pain of it, and realizing the pure joy in her Savior, needing Him above all else, she purely and utterly loved Him. She wept... Luke 7:38 Jesus upon hearing of Lazarus' death was "deeply moved in spirit and was troubled". On his way to see his body, He felt the sorrow of death, He felt the loss, He felt pure and utter love for Lazarus...Jesus wept. John 11 Jeremiah, upon seeing the fall of Jerusalem and God's people, mourned heavily for the people's sins. He, no doubt, felt defeated in his attempts to speak with the people and encourage them in the way they should go...Jeremiah wept. Lamentations 3:49, 1:16 Then there is me, a woman who has experienced more pain than most experience in their lives, who thought at some points in her life, she wouldn't make it...then I too found Jesus and the hope He offered...I, like the woman in Luke, knelt down and I wept. Story after story reeled through my mind as I sat reading my Bible, thinking about friends, family, people everywhere...the tears that have been shed and the tears that are still to come this side of heaven. Then, hope flooded my soul and cried louder than the tears. A beautiful promise, that someday...someday, we will reap with joyful shouting like we have never known (Psalm 126:5-6) because the Lamb in the center of the throne will be our shepherd, and will guide us to the springs of the water of life; and God, God alone, will wipe away every tear from our very eyes (Revelation 7:17).

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