Links Daily Devotional

Love and Tears

For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you. (2 Corinthians 2:4, NIV)

“Gosh, I’m a mess. I’m sorry.”

Not your average words for the champion golfer of the year.

But there was Zach Johnson, reduced to tears and tributes, thanking everyone he could think of. The history of the place, the history of his life, the history that purchased his salvation. All these conspired against the man in the moment.

“Those who sow in tears,” wrote the psalmist, “will reap with songs of joy.” Johnson could only dream! Here was the hour of his reaping, and he could hardly find words.

You might say this is what comes of love.

Johnson wept in victory, no doubt. Many others have done the same. The culmination of hard work can ignite a release of emotions like this. But it’s not the only thing that can turn on the faucet, so to speak.

When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the church at Corinth, he did so with emotion conceived and delivered in love. That doesn’t mean there was an absence of gut-wrenching circumstances. There were. Someone (at least one) had grieved Paul with a personal challenge or sin, and it had apparently led to contentious moments during his previous visit to these brothers and sisters. He had planned to return to them, but he felt now that his love was better demonstrated by staying away.

So he wrote. And he wrote with tears.

Love does this. It does it in good times and bad. Bad times had provoked Paul’s tears; good times provoked Zach Johnson’s. What was common to both was love. When Johnson found himself able to speak, he did so with thanks for the people of St. Andrews, for friends and family, for the Lord. He expressed appreciation and love.

How does your love express itself? You may call yourself “reserved,” and beg off from tears. Okay. But are you crying inside—at the grief that comes when a friend is hurt, at the joy that comes when friends are near? If not, you may need to petition God for tears. Tears in sowing and tears in reaping. Both are a sign of love. And both should reside in us.

Jeff Hopper
July 21, 2015
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