Reflections from Ecclesiastes Three
KEY VERSE: a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing, Ecclesiastes 3:4(CEB)
There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens: this scripture is valid in all cultures and generations. If life were a buffet, everyone would pick and choose only a time for laughing and dancing. But, there are several benefits to a time of crying.
At creation, God made man with the Lacrimal glands that produce tears. There are different types of tears; the Basal tears lubricate the eyes and clear them of dust or debris. Scientific studies show that emotional tears relieve the body of stress, while reflex tears come in response to a stimulus, like while slicing onions.
Since the world began, children and adults cry, men and women, cry, and even Jesus the son of God cried. I wonder about the wisdom behind the statement that “Men don’t cry.” There are many benefits in the time of crying. God hears our cries and sends help our way; several people received answers to prayer when they cried to the Lord.
When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who had come with her crying also, he was deeply disturbed and troubled. He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They replied, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to cry. John 11:33-35
God heard the boy’s cries, and God’s messenger called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “Hagar! What’s wrong? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy’s cries over there. Get up, pick up the boy, and take him by the hand because I will make of him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. She went over, filled the water flask, and gave the boy a drink. Genesis 21:17-19(CEB)
Hannah was very upset and couldn’t stop crying as she prayed to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:10(CEB)
Crying can express joy when you experience something beyond your expectation, like the relief from the pain of separation in the case of Jacob and his twin brother Esau, Joseph and Benjamin; and Joseph and his family in Egypt.
Joseph got in his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father. When they met, Joseph threw his arms around his father’s neck and cried for a long time. Genesis 46:29(GNT)
After he said these things, he knelt down with all of them to pray. They cried uncontrollably as everyone embraced and kissed Paul. They were especially grieved by his statement that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. Acts 20:36-38(CEB)
Just as tears move God, it moves man. Many have received answers to difficult requests because of their crying before men. It is unwise for you to hold back your emotions when you are in a hard place, it might make the difference you so desperately need. Esau’s crying gave him a blessing after his brother stole his blessing, and Esther’s crying moved the King to undo the effect of the plot of Haman against the Jews.
When Esau heard what his father said, he let out a loud agonizing cry and wept bitterly. He said to his father, “Bless me! Me too, my father!” Esau said to his father, “Do you really have only one blessing, Father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.” Genesis 27:34, 38
Then Esther spoke to the King again, throwing herself at his feet and crying. She begged him to do something to stop the evil plot that Haman, the descendant of Agag, had made against the Jews. Esther 8:3 (GNT)
We cannot get all we want by making decrees; certain victories will come by seeking God’s face with crying and tears.
During his days on earth, Christ offered prayers and requests with loud cries and tears as his sacrifices to the one who was able to save him from death. He was heard because of his godly devotion. Hebrews 5:7 (CEB)
God can change times and seasons; after a time of crying comes a season of laughing. As we sow into the lives of others and the kingdom with precious seeds, it seems to be a season of crying because of the pain of denial. God constantly changes seasons to reward our labors with harvest-producing laughter.
Let those who go out, crying and carrying their seed, come home with joyful shouts, carrying bales of grain! Psalm 126:6(CEB)
Crying may last for a night. But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5b(ICB)
May the Lord hear your cries and turn the season in your favor to make you laugh and cause others to laugh with you in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash