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Wipe Every Tear

We steel ourselves against the longing, the ache, the pain. I know we do. I know I do. What else are we to do?

And we’ve done so for so long, many of us do not know the longing is there at all. And even among those of us who know it’s there, we fear how deep it goes.

Recently, my family spent a week with my in-laws in the Midwest. My children love their grandparents and two of them got to stay an extra week. They missed us, and of course it was different than being at home, but they had a great time. (Ahh, the luxury of being a kid on summer break!)

Monday, my wife met her parents half way and drove our kids home. I was there when they arrived. My 9-year old daughter came in first. When she saw me she yelled, “Daddy!” and her face brightened into a big smile as she ran to my arms. I scooped her up, a big daddy hug for a little princess.

In my arms, she began to cry. Big sobs and sighs.

A few minutes later, my 7-year old son tromped through the door like a huntsmen returning with a prize. I knelt down and held his face in my hands to get a look at him, then pulled him close and hugged him strong.

He too began to cry—transformed into a smaller, younger boy in my arms.

In the safety and assuredness of home, the protective shell can crack finally, and from it flows tender, vulnerable places of the heart.

My children couldn’t articulate all that was going on for them. (Neither can I.) All they knew to say was, “I missed you.” All they knew to do was cry—to let it out at last.

We steel ourselves against the longing, against the ache for the Love that satisfies. What else are we to do? We’re not Home yet.

Jesus left with a Promise: I go to prepare a place for you, I wouldn’t lie about this. I won’t forget. And I will come back for you, and you will be with Me forever in the place I’ve prepared just for you.

We were not created to live steeled against our longing. We were created to feel it strong and open it to Him—to this Jesus, who carries the fullness of all Longing within Himself even now as He prepares a place for us.

Maybe today we begin by noticing our longing instead of steeling ourselves against it. Maybe today we choose not to distract ourselves from it with media, busyness, or stuff. Maybe today we resist the strong urge to numb it with sex, food, or some other thrill.

Maybe today we begin simply with, “I miss You.” or “When are You coming for me?”

And if we’re willing to receive His promise as little children, maybe we’ll have the grace to cry, to pour out as an offering the most tender, most vulnerable places of our hearts to the Lord.

Leave a comment or question here.
Josh

 

14 thoughts on “Wipe Every Tear”

  1. Thanks for this post Josh. It reminds me of my mother, who is 2010 was dying of cancer. As much as she loved her family, (and she loved us fiercely!) her longing for her home in heaven with her Lord and Savior became stronger as her body grew weaker. I could see it in her responses to things. We were doing hospice for her in my home and often I would find her up in the middle of the night looking out my living room window. She would say to me “when is he coming for me?” At first I thought she meant my Dad, as he was not staying with us, as he was unable to care for Mom himself 24/7. He would come each day and hold her hand and tell her stories of their lives together, recalling the best memories spent together during their nearly 56 years of marriage. Yet, still as much as she loved him, she longed for her HOME, her real home in glory! I watched her pass from this life, no fear, in fact she seemed strangely content and ready, even anxious to go. I try to remember that when I am happily surrounded by my husband, children and grandchildren. As good as this life is at its best moments, it is not home. Sometimes life is messy and hurts a lot. I am glad that we have a heavenly home to look forward to, and that the Lord gives us opportunities to store up treasures in heaven while we live in a broken world here and now. God bless you and your ministry. ~ Gratefully, Jody

    1. I love this description. What a blessing to have those treasured memories. Thank YOU for sharing!

  2. Thank, Josh. I love your insights. I am nearly 60 and I have such a hard time connecting with this. I can only imagine what it is to be the little kid who is happy to be home and run into the arms of a dad like you. I understand as I have kids who are grown now and I am so happy they will never know anything other than a happy childhood and being loved so much. And most of the time I am dumbfounded that I am loved so much. I am sad for that loss in my own life, yet so thankful for all HE has brought me through. Maybe someday I will understand. Thank goodness it is never too late and one can never be too lost. Love you!

    1. Thank you for expressing this, Olivia. I think the sadness and loss you feel are in their own way expressions of the very longing I’m talking about. And your willingness to be open to these feelings is a gift. I look forward with you to the Day of the great and final “happy to be Home,” and I hope you will then experience the joy you long for running into your Father’s arms.

  3. Thanks for this insight today Josh. It has only been less than 48 hrs since my wife of 43 yrs entered glory. As she lay in hospice for seven days, she waited for our daughter from Michigan to make it in. She waited for my daughter to say goodbye. She passed quietly to meet her Savior …no more pain, no more cancer. She is free!!!

  4. This is so excellent, Josh. Some of us have been suppressing the longing for so long we have forgotten it’s even there. Thanks for reminding us as we take another step in our faith journey.

  5. What a beautiful way to remind us. Sometimes I just feel anxiety…nothing wrong, just not okay. How wonderful to be reminded to turn to Jesus and rest in His arms. I am in tears even as I write. Life is full and good but I still long for HOME! And it’s okay because He meant it to be that way! I am grateful!

  6. Josh, this post challenges me that maybe the many tears I cry in loneliness as i talk to Jesus in the late night hours are NOT a sign of lack of faith, but in fact FAITH. Longing for Him and looking forward to that moment when I will be in His arms and He will wipe away those tears.

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