Real men cry. 874 times in a lifetime, on average.* I had a congressman friend whose daughter died. He was heartbroken over her passing. At his daughter’s funeral, he told me he wanted to cry, but he couldn’t because men don’t cry.
I said, “Congressman, you are wrong: Jesus cried.”
Later I could hear my friend bawling in another room. When I was able to speak with him again, I asked if he felt better after crying about his loss. He agreed. It turned out that shedding those tears had really helped him after all.
Sometimes we will face such pain and anguish that we cannot help but cry. This may be because of mistakes we have made, missed opportunities, or sins we have committed; or it may simply be because of circumstances we can’t control, such as a loved one’s death, illness, or poor choices. Like a heavy load on our shoulders, these things will begin to weigh us down until we have an emotional breakdown.
The solution is to cast our burdens on Christ. When we cry out to Him in distress, He hears our prayers, forgives our sins, quiets our doubts, dissolves our fears, makes good come from our disappointments, and heals our heartaches. When we can’t hold back the tears, He’s there to catch every last one of them.
Maybe you feel like no one has noticed your tears. You’ve had a son or daughter commit suicide, and your heart is broken. You found out a friend was killed in an accident. You’re depressed because you keep repeating the same, foolish mistakes. A family member has made some bad decisions. It seems like everything you held dear is being stripped away: your reputation, your family, your friends. Go ahead and cry. When you can’t hold back the tears, bring your pain before God. He will hear and have mercy on you.
* The average of figures collected by the German Society of Ophthalmology in a scientific study (11.5 times/year) multiplied by the 76-year life expectancy of men in the US, according to the CIA Factbook (Accessed October 11, 2012).
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder