Sometimes, There Are Tears
I sat alone in my bedroom, tears streaming down my face. I was crying out to God again. In my head. Again. My prayer time often brings me to tears and for so many reasons. But this one particular thing seemed, to me, like God should already have answered!
It wasn’t that I was mad, although at times, I guess I was. I remember asking God, “How can you not answer this one prayer? It lines up with your Word and everything!” I felt like I should have an answer, or see some movement towards something positive.
But instead, it was like God wasn’t even listening! What was the point? I’d read all the Scriptures about believing and receiving. All the Scriptures about praying for someone, intercession, and how it’s God’s desire for us to stand in the gap for people.
Tears Can Pave The Way For Understanding
Ah, but God’s ways are not our ways. And it’s a good thing! Because He wants to bring so much more out of us than we could ever imagine. In His great wisdom, He knows there are things we just won’t understand at face value. No, sometimes we have to actually walk THROUGH that valley. Sometimes, we have to cry those tears so He can dry them and bring understanding.
I’ve always been one who learns best by “doing” rather than any other way. That works out great for things like learning how to play an instrument or something like that. In academic perspectives, it meant a lot of practicing and repetition, especially in math.
But in spiritual matters, it seems I have always had to walk the path to really learn the lesson. Maybe you do too?
Wisdom or Knowledge?
I want to take a moment to explain the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Maybe it’s a common thing and you might already have heard it.
If so, forgive the redundancy. If not, I hope this helps.
Knowledge, according to the dictionary, is the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. Most often, it is acquired by study on a particular subject, or by speaking with someone who already has the knowledge.
Where I’m from, it’s basically known as “book learning” 🙂
Wisdom, on the other hand, is a little different. The dictionary says that wisdom is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise”. In other words, you attain wisdom by working something out for yourself. By doing.
In essence, knowledge works from the outside in, and wisdom works from the inside out.
Wisdom When You Aren’t Looking
More often than not, you gain more wisdom by going through things you might not have wanted to, than by any other way. We’ve all heard the cliches about learning lessons the hard way. Well, that’s what that means.
Those “lessons learned” yesterday are tomorrow’s wisdom. It’s the reason you can say, “Hey, take it from me, I’ve been there”. Or the reason we might tell our children, “You’ll understand someday”. That’s the beauty of wisdom.
Unfortunately, it isn’t all fun and games getting there. The really tough times earn you the most gruesome battle scars. But they also net you the greatest amount of wisdom. No, you probably won’t win the Nobel Prize for any of it, but on a personal level, it will mean the world to you.
Tears often pave the way for some of the most profound lessons learned.
I know. I’ve been there.
So, What Did My Tears Teach Me?
My biggest lesson learned from my most recent batch of tears is that we are NOT fighting or wrestling with flesh and blood. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with someone else, or with your own inner self, thoughts, emotions and desires.
Flesh is flesh, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. It has its own agenda and the enemy will use it against you, time and again. Why? Because it has won the battle for him more often than not!
You can read more about the “flesh battle” in the book of Ephesians, chapter 6. We are actually battling powers and principalities and rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. That is the real battle. The operative word here being “real”.
If we put all our physical and emotional strength into the physical battle, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. Because then we don’t have that strength for what we’re really fighting. We can waste all our time and energy being angry at someone, feeling justified all the while, but that’s not the issue at all.
Spiritual Discernment Amidst the Tears
For me, the “a-ha!” moment came in the middle of my little spiritual tantrum. I can’t exactly describe the moment it really hit me, but when it did, it was like somebody flipped a switch in my mind. Suddenly the understanding was there! And I was left in such awe of God that all I could do for a good while was repent.
Once I composed myself and aligned my thinking with the Word of God, I began to pray earnestly. There were still tears, but this time I had aimed them in the direction God had wanted them aimed all along.
Let me just say that there is no room for selfishness. Not even in prayer. Not even when you think you’re praying for relief. Because sometimes, when you really take a deep and honest look, you’ll find like I did, that in wording your prayers differently, you’re actually praying for yourself.
Don’t get me wrong…you can most certainly pray for yourself! But don’t pray “amiss”…
I prayed, “Lord, I can’t take any more of this, you HAVE to give me some relief!”. What I really should have been praying is that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
I prayed, “Lord, I deserve better than this!”. I should have thanked Him, instead, that I WASN’T GETTING WHAT I REALLY AND TRULY DESERVED!
Learning the “Hard Way” Is Still Learning
When it’s all said and done, and you’re no longer on the wrong path, you will have increased in ways I don’t even have the words to describe. And I can’t tell you what it will feel like. I can’t tell you exactly what you should or shouldn’t be praying. You need to work that out with God.
But I can tell you that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Worship Him. Give your entire heart, soul, mind and strength to Him. Don’t play around or practice the fine art of fence-sitting. And whatever you do, don’t pity yourself. Our true strength doesn’t come from within ourselves, after all, it comes from Him and Him alone.
Especially in the hard times.
My prayer is that if you are struggling with something and there just doesn’t seem to be an answer, slow down. Ask God to reveal everything to you. He might do it in a revelation, a vision or a dream. He might let you come across a blog written in such perfect timing it seems like God is speaking to you directly. In some instances, your daily time in the Word will cause something to jump right out at you.
Above all, an no matter what…listen to Him.