“When we can’t bottle our tears up anymore, God catches every one in His bottle. God’s catching every falling tear because He won’t let us fall apart.”- Ann Voskamp
“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 (New Living Translation)
There must be a chemistry gene in the Henning family DNA. My father, William, participated in his high school chemistry club and worked many years testing corrosion inhibitors. While at Luther South, I took chemistry plus an advanced chemistry elective. My fascination with chemistry, however, began much earlier- at age three.
One morning I was sitting in my high chair with my breakfast of Rice Krispies and orange juice. I developed a hypothesis to make my breakfast more efficient and create a new taste sensation- combining the Rice Krispies (in milk) with orange juice! The results were catastrophic! Unbottled tears followed. I refused to eat my combination. Mom was not amused. She refrigerated my mushy concoction for consumption at dinner.
I dined in solitary confinement, the only illumination coming from the stove light.
Mark Batterson writes in The Circle Maker that each and every one of your teardrops is precious to God. He keeps track of every one. God remembers, honors, and collects each teardrop. In much the same way, God collects your prayers. Each one is precious to Him and sealed by Him. Noted British Particular Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once described tears as liquid prayers:
“Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers; and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate (pressingly entreating, earnestly requesting) intercession which will wear its way right surely into the very heart of mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way.”
Pastor Batterson emphasizes that how you get there is just as important as where you end up. It’s true in life and it’s true in prayer- the harder the better. Throughout your life, you won’t remember the things that came easy; you’ll remember the things that came hard. God will provide exciting answers to long and boring prayers. When you feel frustrated by the process, Mark encourages you to stop, drop and pray. Meredith Andrews reminds us about every falling tear:
“He is near to the brokenhearted,
Closer still than the air you breathe,
Every tear falling in the darkness,