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. (1 Corinthians 2:4)
All tears are not created equally. We can be taught to wipe away our tears, let them freely flow, produce them on demand, or refuse to let them even exist. The truth is tears are necessary and very appropriate to express ourselves and God. It doesn’t mean every time our tears fall is a reflection of God, but when we weep because of who God is and how and what He’s provided in our lives, we certainly need to welcome them.
God’s love is passionate. He pursues with intensity. It’s not just that He feels love toward us. He lives love toward us. His love is active and alive. It is intentional and productive.
And everything God’s love is for us is also for us to love others. We don’t have to feel love for people to respond in love to them. We can share God’s love with a stranger. As we yield to God, and as we know how He is, His heart for us eclipses our heart for the world. Anything or anyone we love filters through His love. If it is worthy and in His will and time, He keeps it within us and equips us to respond. If it’s not, as we yield, He hides it from us or weeds it from our lives altogether. We don’t decide how to share God’s love with strangers or acquaintances. God instructs us. He prompts us with His Holy Spirit. He challenges us through His Word. We will see someone and sometimes respond immediately in assurance . Other times we will walk away and wrestle with God until He provides the answer. Sometimes He’ll tell us to walk away. And many other times, we don’t even notice the opportunity, because we’re not receiving the fullness of God’s love due to our attitude or heartitude.
We can also fail to share God’s love with the people we say we love the most. We get frustrated because relationships don’t go the way we want. The other person doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain. But are we? Are we living God’s love out loud in a way that changes us—not expecting someone else to change as a condition but trusting God to change the way we think, respond, and believe. We can also take relationships for granted. We know it’s not going to go away. There’s a commitment or a bond that creates a foundation that will never completely shatter regardless of what we pile on top of it. But what if we leave out God’s love? If He’s not a bold part of the relationship, starting with our own lives, we need to check the security of our assurance.
When we consider how tears and love are associated, most of us probably think of how we cry over love not with love. Crying over love when relationships have broken, betrayed, or perhaps not even started, is sorrow. It’s not the kind of tears characterized in this verse. Tears of love are passionate and pursuant. They include everything that God wants for you with His love. They are merciful, forgiving, trustworthy, full of peace, comfort, and conviction. Because that is who God is.
Dear God, thank You for tears, that I can celebrate Your love. I know that sometimes the tears of love I cry seem sorrowful, because I’m mourning the loss of life and connection. But through these words, I understand my tears are tears of love. When I love someone You have woven into my life, the separation hurts. I long for the person because he or she reflects the love that You have given me in my life. Help me not to use the love and the tears You have given me to be selfish. I want to pursue Your presence and Your love with such passion that I am constantly stepping out of my own will and into Yours. Open my heart to love as You love, and open my eyes to see as You see and weep for what You weep.