Even Warriors Weep
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
The recruit may not believe it, or maybe just not admit it. But veterans of combat know—even warriors weep.
Some have felt tears flow at remembrance ceremonies. Many have wept while standing at The Wall. Some cried as they cradled a dying comrade in their arms. Others wiped their eyes at the final salute and the sound of taps.
Don’t tell them that brave warriors never weep!
But, grief is not the only cause for tears. Sometimes it is joy. Sometimes it is just relief. Those who have been surrounded by the enemy, those who fought for hours with gritted teeth and fear, are sometimes overwhelmed when the realization sinks in that the firefight is over. They are safe. Everyone with them is going to live. Then the tears may begin to run.
Sometimes relieved warriors weep.
When the warrior, King David, wrote: “I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears” (Psalm 6:6) he was fighting exhaustion. Today we would say he needed some R&R. The stress of war had broken him down. So much of his life was spent fighting enemies. Yet, no matter how many battles he won, there were always more to fight, more enemies to face.
Sometimes worn out warriors weep.
David reminds us of another occasion on which tears might flow. He reports, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 51:3). He’s talking about the inner anguish when he was hiding his sin.
Shame hurts. Regret brings torment. Sorrow over sin can bring grief that is as painful as any other.
Sometimes repentant warriors weep.
But, those tears will dry. No longer hiding from God, David turns to him, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 51:7).
The Lord God in heaven sees, understands, and cares. No matter what has brought the pain that caused the tears, he is greater than that. He has an answer for that.
The warrior who trusts in the Savior God can now dry his tears.
For such a one, the final answer waits on the shores of heaven. The promise is, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Then and there, the warrior will weep—nevermore.
Heavenly Father, God of mercy and might, we live in a world that brings pain to our doorstep, and sometimes into our hearts. We sorrow over many things, and may shed tears without even understanding why. But, you see, you understand, and you care. Lift us up when we are down. Comfort us with the memory that Jesus has assured us of his tender care, and holds the door open for us to enter your comforting presence.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military