Does God cry?
A question that could have a simple yes or no answer, and yet it’s a question loaded with layers of emotion. Because why would we even ask this question?
Why does it matter to us whether God cries or not? Is it because we want to think that maybe, just maybe, God is filled with sorrow by our circumstance?
Is it comforting to think that while we’re sobbing into our pillows, that maybe God is there, in the tears, and the snot, and the grief crying with us?
Would it make you feel better to think that He does? Would it comfort you in your sorrow, to believe that when you’re falling to pieces and can no longer hold it all in, that He’s doing the same? Maybe.
So… does God cry?
I can’t tell you. I don’t know the straightforward answer. But I’ll tell you what I do know.
I do know that Jesus wept. Jesus, Son of God, who stepped out of heaven and down to earth, who became human and felt all the emotions and experienced all of the grief.
We know that he wept over the death of Lazarus, we know that he was moved and deeply troubled (John 11) even though he knew that he was about to perform a miracle of epic proportions.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, we know that Jesus was ‘in anguish’ – did He cry? We’re not sure. But he was certainly emotional.
Jesus, the human form of an invisible God, cried. We know that.
But does God – the creator of the heavens and earth, our heavenly father – does He cry?
What is crying?
Crying is a release of emotion. Whether it’s through joy, overwhelm, frustration or sorrow, crying is when the emotions that have been building within us can’t go anywhere.
So they spill out through our tears. When we cry there’s actually a physical hormonal release which promotes emotional healing and sooths distress. We need to cry.
But does God cry?
Can God even cry, if He doesn’t have a physical body? Maybe that’s a question that will only be answered on the other side of eternity.
Does God’s heart break?
But does God’s heart break? I believe it does. God’s heart breaks for injustice in the world, it breaks for the plight of the orphans and widows, his heart breaks over sin and it breaks over those who are separated from Him.
God’s heart breaks over the lost and the hurting. With a heart of a father, longing for His children to be home, I believe His heart breaks.
Is God near to the broken hearted?
The Bible also says that God is near to the broken hearted. If He’s not crying with you, He’s certainly alongside you in your grief. Whether He cries or not, your pain, grief and heartache is not insignificant to Him.
Psalm 56:8 says “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” What a loving Father He is!
There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and sometimes it might feel like sorrow is all around. Sometimes the tears keep coming and yet nothing seems resolved. We cry helpless tears because the emotion has to go somewhere but the circumstances do not change.
But I believe – that if God cries – they are not tears of helplessness. They are not tears of frustration. They are not a sign of weakness and they’re not tears of overwhelm.
Why does God cry?
God’s tears are tears of compassion, as His heart breaks to see you in distress. God’s tears are tears of joy because He delights in you as you live out your day. God’s tears are tears of hope as He lifts your head and they’re tears of pride as He sends you on your way, knowing that He’s equipped you for your task.
He doesn’t cry because He’s lost control, He cries because He loves you and He knows your pain. In fact, God is so very much in control and maybe He cries because He can see the way out, but He knows that you can’t just yet.
He can feel your pain, but He knows that it won’t last, and He wishes you knew that too.
Does God cry?
I’d like to think He does. But maybe not for the same reasons we do.
A prayer for sorrow
“We lift up to you Lord, those people who are grieving, those people who are lost. We pray for those who are full of sorrow. We pray for those who can’t see you in the midst of their distress.
But we know that you are there. We know that you are near to the broken hearted. We know that you care. We pray that as you save each and every tear, that you would bring comfort to those who are hurting.
We pray that they would feel your gentle touch in the midst of their anguish. May their tears bring release, comfort and healing. Thank you that you are not a distant God, but you are a God who is with us in our mess and one who cares for us in our hurts.
Be a Father to us today. Amen.”
Emily Davies is a Christian writer who is just juggling life in a way that hopefully points heavenward. Wife to one very handsome chap, mum to two absolute champions and a girl who wears many, many hats. She lives in the south east of England, works for a missions organisation and blogs at www.loveemily.co.uk