Author: Lori Apon
Category: Grief: Coping and emotions WidowLife
Tears: God’s Natural Painkiller
Tears: the clear salty solution secreted by the lacrimal glands that lubricates and cleanses the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. This very scientific definition doesn’t come close to describing our tears. The moisture that wells up in our eyes spilling down our face in droplets of water is often an uncontrollable experience.
Tears accompany an assortment of emotions that cover a spectrum of highs and lows: happy (joy, delight), sad (remorse, regret, anguish), and mad (anger, bitterness, envy, jealousy). All the emotions in between, like fear, surprise, relief, frustration, and confusion may fall under these four main emotional categories. And often, tears are a companion to these life experiences. For many, tears flow easily—at the drop of a hat my husband used to say. For others, tears don’t seem to exist even in the presence of the deepest pain.
God created tears and human emotions. We all have them, even God.
Our circumstances may even spark several emotions at the same time. It is possible that through the experience of death, one may feel a range of feelings outside of the obvious emotion of sorrow. Don’t be surprised when walking through the valley of the shadow of death if you encounter a happy emotion along the way. Someone may bless you with an act of kindness that will fill your heart with unexpected pleasure. Emotions act as a flag waving in our souls, uncovering areas where God will sanctify, comfort, and draw us closer to Himself.
Christian speaker and author Bob Sorge says, “Tears are liquid words. Tears say more than words often can…A certain young man was seeking a breakthrough in his life in a certain area but had exhausted all he knew to gain spiritual breakthrough. He wrote General William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) for advice. The General wrote back two simple words, ‘Try tears. Do you long for a greater reality in your walk with God? Try tears.’”
Tears accompany weeping – a moistening of the eyes that serves as a relief to wash away the grief deep within your soul. Creator God has His hand in the beautiful design of our tears. It is interesting to know that our bodies produce three different types of tears: tears for lubrication, protection, and because of emotion.
Science has proven that emotional tears have a different chemical composition than tears for lubrication or protection. When photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher observed dried human tears of over 100 people, she learned that the make up for tears was unique for the different kinds of tears.
While all tears include a variety of elements in their biology, tears related to our emotions contain an extra ingredient, the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin. This hormone is a natural painkiller the body produces when under stress.
Stop and ponder this amazing truth: God uses tears to remove tension when we are having an emotional moment.
Thankfully, Scripture is not silent about tears.
- “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4 NLT).
- “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
- You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8)
- “For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling” (Psalm 116:8).
- He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces…” (Isaiah 25:8).
- “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting” (Psalm 126:5-6).
Sowing in tears may mean many things:
- Tears from hard work – Rolling up our sleeves and moving forward with work that needs to be done, despite our season of grief.
- Tears from suffering – Tears because we feel deep hurt but hope in the fact that there is purpose in the pain.
- Tears for the lost – While waiting for the fruit of salvation for those we have shared the Gospel with.
“For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you” (2 Corinthians 2:4).
- Tears from walking by faith – “In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).
Even Jesus shed tears: “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety” (Hebrews 5:7).
Every tear is recorded in a book and stored in a bottle.
Thank God for tears!
Thanks to Casey Chan, “Tears of Joy and Sadness Look Different Under the Microscope” and Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Different Emotions Reveal Changes in Tears” for their work that contributed to this devotional.