Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Good Cry

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart… Psalms 34:18a

Sometimes it just feels good to cry.  No one should ever be embarrassed about crying for the right reasons.  Of course tears shed to manipulate people are wrong, but there are tears that heal and cleanse us from the inside out.  The shedding of tears may provide peace and a sense of refreshing determination to face whatever may be overwhelming us at the time.  Often we hold all of the stress of trials inside and it builds up over time. 

It is beneficial to have a release of some sort when faced with extremely stressful situations.  One way or the other what goes in will come out.  It is better for it to come out as a waterfall than a volcanic explosion!  The stress of holding everything in can cause health problems like high blood pressure, sleeplessness, even loss of hair!!  The health benefits of shedding tears include cleansing bad hormones and toxins from our system, lubricating, removing irritants and preventing infections in our eyes and more.  Scientists and Psychologists are always conducting surveys on tears and the benefit of shedding them.  One such survey concluded:

In one survey, 85% of women and 73% of men reported feeling less sad or angry after crying. As a result of this kind of information, psychologists and scientists are doing research to discover what the content and purpose of tears may be. Some of this research has been conducted by William Frey in an effort to discover the chemical makeup of tears. Frey compared tears induced from sadness with tears caused by cutting a raw onion. He found that the tears caused by emotional stimuli contained more total protein than those that resulted from irritation. Frey proposes that the emotionally based tears contained high levels of cortisal, which is the primary hormone released during stressful situations. This suggests that we may be literally releasing toxins from our system when we cry, and that crying itself may support our overall wellbeing. Psychologists intuitively have understood the healing power of tears and often encourage people to allow their tears to flow freely, unobstructed by any internal sensors that might shut them off.

A Father’s Touch
The wonderful thing about the sorrow in our hearts and the tears we shed is that God sees every tear that falls.  Every tear we shed is important to Him; from tears over a skinned knee to tears over the death of a loved one.  It is some comfort amidst pain to know that every emotion we feel, every sorrow we labor over, He sympathizes with and cares about.  He is our Heavenly Father and He picks us up when we crumple in tears and holds us in His arms and soothes us just the way an earthly daddy would.  No pain is too trivial, no sadness too unimportant. 

The bible assures us that God will hear our cry and will not ignore us.  For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.  Psalm 22:24.  Maybe you didn’t have an earthly father that would take you in His arms but you have a heavenly father that is right by your side, even now, waiting to put His arms around you and wipe away your tears.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for caring so much about me.  I know that when my heart is breaking you understand.  You see every tear that falls from eyes and every pain I feel you feel.  Thank you for the cleansing power of tears.  Thank you for the freedom to cry out to you when I am in distress and the promise that you will always be there for me.  Amen

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