You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. (Psalm 56:8)
Life is full of painful providences; some of them come to us in the most unexpected ways. But no matter how sudden or surprising these unwelcome events are, none of them ever catch our God off guard or unaware. God is in control of all things everywhere in the universe at all times . . . and that includes everything in our lives. This truth is a comfort to us, because no matter what tracks our tears leave on us, God not only keeps track of all of them, He collects them in His bottle.
The profound meaning in this truth is clear: God will never forget our pain; God will never ignore our grief; God will never disregard our sorrow. David was the author of today’s words of cosmic comfort in Psalm 56. At the time he wrote this psalm, he was on the run from Saul and had been captured by the Philistines in Gath. This was not the language of a poet waxing eloquently; no, these were the words of a man who was in the depths of despair. Yet David was strengthened in the knowledge that God had not forgotten him or forsaken him. He knew that every tear that streamed down his face was but another reminder that God was with him and for him and would not let his enemies overtake him. And the same is true for you and me today.
David was not pointing us to a literal bottle that God is using to collect our tears. That metaphor is for our benefit, painting a picture that empowers us to be encouraged that God sees all our pain — and not only remembers it, but responds to it as well. When you think about it for a moment, who better to see the tracks of our tears? Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). He wept over this sin-stained world. But on that cross Jesus conquered death, our last enemy, and we have been given this astounding promise: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4).
The promise is clear; the day is coming when the tracks of our tears will be no more. There will only be joy, happiness, and love. May that truth set us all free the next time we are marked by the tracks of our tears.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!