"Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Thy bottle; Are they not in Thy book?" Psalm 56:8 (New American Standard version)
You might remember that I mentioned that I have a collection of sand from around the world. That collection started years ago, when a colleague of mine at George Fox took a ten-day trip to Cairo, Egypt. Although it was a business trip, he anticipated having a great deal of free time for sightseeing. I shared in his excitement, because I, too, had always wanted to see the sights of Egypt.
When he asked me what he could bring back for me, it took only a moment to reply, "A little bottle of sand from the desert, near the great pyramids!"
When he returned, I was thrilled that he hadn't forgotten my request. I kept my bottle of Sahara sand at my office for years, and hardly a day went by that I didn't take it down, open the lid, and entertain a little daydream about the fascinating country from which its contents came.
Perhaps because of this, when I read, in Psalm 56:8, that God puts my tears in his bottle, I was especially touched.
I wonder if seeing that bottle of tears prompts God to think fondly of me each day.
Do you suppose it's a graduated bottle, so that God can measure my sorrows?
And He must have known, even before my birth, just what size bottle to select for me. What a comforting thought! That means that God has placed a limit on the number of tears I will shed in a lifetime, for surely he wouldn't let my tears overflow His bottle.
David was writing poetically, of course, when he penned this psalm. But the underlying truth is that God does care when I'm sad. Best of all, He promises that a time will come when I will weep no more: "And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain. . . " Rev. 21:4). I'm eagerly awaiting that day, but until it comes I am comforted by the thought that God is saving my tears in His bottle.
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