Why Are You Crying?
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy (Psalm 126:5).
Tears are a part of life. We were crying when we came into this world, and there will be weeping when we leave.
Physical pain can bring those tears. So can disappointment, or regret, or worry. We cry for many reasons. Sometimes we even cry for joy.
Early on Easter morning Mary Magdalene was weeping. She, from whom Jesus had driven out seven demons, was staring in bewilderment at the sight of two angels sitting inside an empty tomb. “Why are you crying?” they asked. She explained that she did not know where the body of Jesus had been moved to.
Before the angels responded, another voice asked, “Woman, why are you crying?” (John 20:15)
When Jesus then called her by name she realized she had been crying for nothing.
Her Lord and Savior was alive! The old days would not return, but the new days held neither confusion or fear. Jesus was alive. Her tears could dry.
We might wonder why Jesus allows his loved ones to cry. Does he not have the power to solve every problem? Could he not have shown himself plainly alive to all of his followers early on Easter? Why did he allow them to grieve longer?
Could it be for the same reason that he once allowed Peter to stumble away into the night weeping bitterly? Do we sometimes need the tears of repentance?
Is sin the cause of all the painful crying? Does failure and fear, frustration and grief lead to tears because we are in a sin-soaked world? Isn’t that what the Bible says?
It is not wrong to cry. It is not bad to cry. Tears can wash away some of the pain.
Jesus does better. He can turn tears of pain into the tears of joy. And he does.
A grieving widow once reported that she had dreamed that her husband was still alive. This filled her with a sense of relief. “Everything felt all right again!” she said.
But it wasn’t true. It wasn’t real. Bitter grief returned when she awoke.
The appearance of Jesus at Easter was not a dream. He was real. He was alive. He still is. This means that, for or his people of any age, everything is all right.
Let the tears of pain flow at times. But mix them with tears of joy.
In the days of confusion and doubt, when burdens push us down and watery eyes blur our vision of the world, let the voice of Jesus come to us through his living Word.
Does he not call each of us by name? Does he not truly make everything all right in our life? Doesn’t every problem fade when seen in the light of his presence?
When he asks us, “Why are you crying?” is he not reminding us to sing those songs of joy?
Will we not then cry—cry out to him: My Lord and my God!
Heavenly Father, your Son Jesus bids us to turn our painful weeping into tears of joy. Holy Spirit, refresh our hearts and lift up our souls so that the peace that surpasses all understanding may settle over us. Son of God and Savior of souls, continue to bring to us joy and peace. Call us by name, and assure us that for time and for eternity, you have made everything all right.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military