April 10, 2012

Why Are You Crying?

John 20:11-18

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
—John 20:13


There’s a lot of crying in the world today. On the Internet, I searched “songs about crying” and got thousands of results. That’s a lot of tears! Tears over lost love, or over loved ones who have died. Tears of regret. Tears of pain. Right now many who are reading these words have eyes filled with tears.

I have heard people say, “Big boys don’t cry.” The truth is they do—and so do big girls. There is nothing wrong with crying. Even Jesus cried (see John 11:35). The question is, “Amid tears, how can we have hope to carry on?”

The angels did not tell Mary, “Don’t cry.” They asked her, “Why are you crying?” Blinded by her sorrow, Mary did not recognize Jesus; not even the sound of his voice awakened her hope. Then he called her name, “Mary,” and her eyes were opened to his life-giving presence.

Do you think all your dreams and past efforts have been buried by your losses or by the hurts and injustices heaped on you? Whoever you are, Jesus knows your name (see John 10:3-4).

When we respond to his gentle call and trust him as Savior, we have this life-giving hope: one day God will wipe away every tear from our eyes; “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

Loving Lord, thank you for understanding us when our eyes fill with tears. Thank you for calling us by name. May our eyes be opened to your life-giving presence. In your name, Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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