Tag Archives: spiritual

Tears in a Bottle

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/tears-in-a-bottle-dolores-develde.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/tears-in-a-bottle-dolores-develde.html

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8 NLT)

I just read a beautiful, heartfelt post from Jodi Karren¬†this morning, and one verse of her prayer spoke to my heart, and I need to share it this morning. It’s one of those words that the Lord sometimes gives that just burns within you until you release it. ūüôā

I remember as a child, willing myself not to cry when I was cursed, rejected, beaten or abused, sometimes I was successful, while other times, I was unsuccessful in my endeavor to shed no tears. You see, at the time, I had no idea how good tears are. I had no idea that they were important.

All I knew at the time is that I didn’t want to give those who hurt me the satisfaction of seeing me cry. I didn’t want people to see my “weakness,” and so I worked very hard trying to swallow that lump in my throat and trying to harden my heart so that the pain couldn’t touch me. I remember how hard I tried not to cry when I received a beating, because it was my way of rebelling against the abuse being inflicted on me. When I was laughed at and made fun of, I tried very hard to laugh at and poke fun of myself, so that those who were trying to hurt me would feel thwarted in their efforts. At the time, it made sense to me. It was my way of coping with the pain — by¬†not coping with it.

The problem with this is that when you harden yourself like this, the pain within you doesn’t go away. It isn’t released, and so it festers on the inside, and like an infection, it poisons you. Because I was able to stop the faucet of my tears, the tears of others irritated me. My heart became hardened to the pain that others felt.

And then there were times, when we are supposed to be able to cry in order to appear human… such as at the death and funerals of loved ones. The problem was, that I had become so adept at stopping the tears and stopping my feelings, that I was numb in the face of tragedies. When a loved one was sick or dying, even though I¬†wanted and needed to feel something,¬†try as I might,¬†I couldn’t feel, and¬†I couldn’t cry.

http://freedominjesus.piczo.com/post/581058/
http://freedominjesus.piczo.com/post/581058/

It left me feeling empty and incomplete, as though a vital part of me was missing. I felt inhuman, and unloving, therefore, I must be unlovable. Do you see? In trying to protect myself… in trying to shield myself from pain, I also shielded myself from feeling the good things as well, like love and joy, peace and grief. Yes, grief is a good thing to feel as well, because as we grieve, we are able to heal. It’s when we are unable to grieve that our wounds continue to fester and poison us.

After so many years of stifling my tears, I was now unable to cry and feel, and heal. So, I began to pray for tears. Does that sound crazy to you? Understand this, holding those tears back does not get rid of the pain, nor the tears. It just buries them, and the more you bury your pain and tears, the more they build up… and then you begin to have small explosions, as you are only able to hold so much in… and because that pain and the tears have been festering and boiling within you for so long, when they are released in an explosion over some trifle little thing, you end up spewing poison on people who don’t deserve it… often on the very ones you love the most.

God keeps my tears in a bottleI didn’t realize the value of tears, until I didn’t have any. Then, one day, my counselor, a very wise woman, quoted this scripture to me, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)¬†

Wow. Did you know that God keeps track of all our sorrows? I’ve had so many different sorrows in my life, that I’m not sure if I even remember all of them, but God does. Our tears are so important to God that not one of them is wasted. Think about this. God has collected all of our tears… all of my tears… all of your tears…

Do  you know what all means? Dictionary.com defines all as:

  1. the whole of (used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration)
  2. the whole number of
  3. the greatest possible
  4. every

There are more definitions that you can check out by clicking the link, but you get the point, don’t you? All means¬†all.¬†That means that God has collected every single one of my tears, every tear I have ever cried in my lifetime, and placed them in a bottle, and He’s done the same thing for each one of you. Now why would He do that? Could it be that our tears are valuable to God? Could it be that He loves us so much that each and every tear we ever have shed and ever will shed are so precious to Him that He saves them, much as some people save a lock of their children’s hair?

http://waitingatthewindow.blogspot.com/2012/10/tears-in-bottle.html
http://waitingatthewindow.blogspot.com/2012/10/tears-in-bottle.html

And think about this, not only has God collected each and every tear that we’ve shed, but He has also kept a journal of them.¬†You have recorded each one in your book.”¬†This absolutely blows me away. Think about the magnitude of this. I can’t remember every tear I’ve ever cried. I can remember some, but not all. However, God not only collected each tear and placed it in a bottle, He also took the time to make a written record of those tears. I wonder how many pages He’s filled with my tears? I wonder how many pages He’s filled with your tears?

My beloved friends, don’t feel foolish when you cry. Never feel ashamed of your tears, and don’t let anyone else ever make you feel ashamed of your tears, because each and every one of your tears is precious to God. Each one of your tears cleanses you and helps you to heal from the wounds that have been inflicted on you as you walk through life.

In Jesus’ name, I pray that each and every one of you will feel free to cry, and that you will embrace those tears. Grieve when you need to grieve. Allow yourself to feel pain, because even though it’s unpleasant, it is better to feel it and deal with it immediately, rather than letting it infect your heart, soul, mind and body.

May the Lord bless you abundantly, and if you are unable to cry because you, like I, have pushed those tears down, pray for tears so that you may heal. God will hear your cry for tears, and He will give them to you. I prayed for tears for several years, and they came back slowly, until eventually, it was as though a dam had burst. It was frightening to me at the time, and I was afraid I might be losing my mind. Therefore, my instinct was to cut those tears off, but I ignored that instinct, and when I finished crying, I was healed from much of the pain that I had been carrying around. I was able to look at some of the things that had caused me pain before, and find that they had lost their power to hurt me any longer.

If you’ve felt tears welling up within you as you read this, don’t quench them. Allow them to flow and cleanse you, knowing that those tears are valuable, and that God is taking care of them for you. Embrace your tears, and discover the blessing that is found as you release them. God bless you all!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Forever Young

If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?
Daily Prompt: Forever Young

"The River"By Amy Rylander
“The River”
By Amy Rylander

When I first saw this prompt, I felt uninspired… Of course that could be due to a lack of sleep and not feeling well. I’ve been in a lot of pain today, and sometimes pain can make you very discouraged. I’m still in a lot of pain, but hallelujah! I did have a nap, so I’m not quite as tired. Anyway, I just looked at this prompt again, and the spirit within me just leaped! No kidding – I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. I guess pain and depression can make you blind too… Anyway, without further ado, I’d like to address this question.

"Cool Drink of Water"By Amy Rylander
“Cool Drink of Water”
By Amy Rylander

If there was a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?¬†What if I told you that there¬†is¬†a real fountain of youth (although that isn’t its official name)? And what if I told you that it is available to everyone, the only requirement is that you believe and travel on the correct pathway? And suppose I told you that there is only one way to get there, and that the narrow road must be entered by a small gateway, that many never find, because they’re going the wrong way? Do you think I’m crazy?

This fountain of youth is actually a river that flows from beneath the throne of God. You see, people talk about this mythical fountain of youth as though it is a myth, but somewhere deep within, their hearts yearn for this fountain. Why do you think stories of this fountain have passed from generation to generation, throughout the ages? Could it be because there is some truth to those stories, and that the truth about God is written on the hearts of men? For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. (Romans 1:19 NLT)

This river flows from beneath the throne of God Almighty, and to enter into His presence, where this river of living waters is, you must travel the narrow road, and very few people ever find it, because they choose to travel the easier, less obscure road, the road that is well-traveled. Many are offended when they hear that there is only one way to get to this river, so they try to create other ways instead, always failing to locate the river. Many people hate the ones who travel the narrow road, calling them names such as “intolerant” and “narrow-minded.” However, it was Jesus, the only begotten Son of God who said,¬†“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NLT)

"Worship Over America" By Amy Rylander
“Worship Over America”
By Amy Rylander

And what do the scriptures say about this fountain of youth? And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb,coursing down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,¬†with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will anything be cursed. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship Him. And they will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there — no need for lamps or sun — for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:1-5 NLT)

I can see it in my mind’s eye, and I long to go to that place. It’s not just some imaginary, mythical place conceived in the minds of ordinary men. No! This is an actual place that I do want to see one day, and listen to this:

¬†Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them.¬†He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making all things new!” And then He said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And He also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega — the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge! All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be My children.

“But cowards who turn away from Me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars — their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8 NLT)

Hallelujah! Do you see that? There is a beautiful, wonderful place prepared for the men, women and children of God – a place where there is no more sorrow or death… When I think of the sorrow that each one of us has gone through in our lifetimes… when I think about the sorrow of the people of Newtown, CT… when I think of the sorrow of our nation, my heart yearns to be in that place where I will never again be crushed by sorrow or death.

Now, I don’t know about you, but my poor body has been wracked with pain, and as I read these words, joy washes over me. I feel like weeping as I think of going to that place where I will never again suffer pain – neither physical, nor emotional, nor spiritual pain. And every one of the tears that I’ve cried will be wiped away. Just look at the words of King David,¬†You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)¬†It blesses me to know that God cares so much about us that He has collected all of our tears in a bottle. Sometimes, I wonder how big my bottle is, when I think about this. And to know that He cares so much for us that He has recorded each one of our tears in His book is mind-boggling. Just think about it. Can you remember every tear you’ve ever shed, and why? I can’t… But He not only remembers, He has a journal of those tears, because we mean that much to Him.

"Rivers of Living Water"By Amy Rylander
“Rivers of Living Water”
By Amy Rylander

So, in answer to your question,¬†“If there was a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?”¬†my answer is a resounding, “YES!!!” I choose to travel that narrow road, even if I must go alone, and even though the path is difficult. I choose to travel that One Way street, no matter who it offends, because I must get to that river and drink of that living, healing water. I must see the face of God!¬†

So now, I turn the question back to you. Knowing what I just told you, will you drink from the living water?

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Do Not Break Your Vows

“Again, you have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say, don’t make any vows! If you say, ‘By heaven!’ it is a sacred vow because heaven is God‘s throne. And if you say, ‘By the earth!’ it is a sacred vow because the earth is His footstool. And don’t swear, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Don’t even swear, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong.” (Matthew 5:33-37 NLT)

Guilty! This word is for me personally… When I mess up, I mess up big time.

Father forgive me. I know that I’m not supposed to break the vows I’ve made to You, and I knew on Tuesday, when I broke my vow to fast, that I was sinning against You, but I excused my sin. I was hurting, and I can’t take my pain medication on an empty stomach.

While that’s true, the fact is that I could have asked You to remove my pain, and I certainly didn’t need to eat as much as I did. The truth is that I made that vow without even thinking. I certainly didn’t feel You leading me to fast. I just thought it was the right thing to do.

My Lord, for all that I say that I hate religion, could it be that I’ve become religious? Could it be that instead of seeking Your face, I’ve allowed myself to be caught up in traditions and rituals that don’t please You? My Lord, forgive me. Forgive me for following my own ideas rather than being still and waiting for You.¬†

Forgive me for telling You what I think You want to hear, rather than simply waiting for You to tell me. Forgive me Father, for being impulsive and running headlong into things, rather than waiting for You to lead me.

Forgive me Father, because when I make a vow to you that I don’t keep – a vow that You haven’t even asked of me – I become a liar.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of Your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my shameful deeds — they haunt me day and night. Against You, and You alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in Your sight. You will be proved right in what You say, and Your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner — yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But You desire honesty from the heart, so You can teach me to be wise in my inmost being. Purify me from my sins,¬†and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; You have broken me — now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. Then I will teach Your ways to sinners, and they will return to You. (Psalm 51:1-13 NLT)

Lord, I do love You, and I don’t just want a religion. I want to humble myself under Your mighty right hand. I want to walk with You in the cool of the evening. I want to be a woman after Your own heart. Father, I submit myself to You – please show me Your ways! I want to see You, hear You and touch You.¬†

Father, I won’t vow not to break anymore vows that I’ve made to You. Instead, I ask You, Holy Spirit to guard the gate of my mouth, and help me Lord, not to make anymore vows that You never even asked of me or required of me. Walk with me Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers