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Have You Cried Before God Lately?

Have You Cried Before God Lately?

I have found crying before God–—whether in confession or simply out of joy and thanksgiving because of his graciousness and mercies over a long period of time–—is salutary.  It ends with a sense of genuine peace with God.  God deserves our sincere humility before him. A thought came to me that perhaps the Holy Spirit is preparing my conscience and spirit for that time when I will personally bow before him in the life to come and perhaps sooner than later.

When was the last time you found yourself crying before God?  I can’t remember anyone sharing with me or others that they cry before God.  There was a time when the same could be said about me, that is, crying before God was not an event I experienced regularly or even rarely.

This is not about crying before God in pleading for something or something to happen.  It’s not even about crying before God in confession of sin.  This is about crying before God in humility and thanksgiving for his many mercies in your life.

I was reading Psalm 86 when I found myself shedding tears before God in awe and gratefulness for his great mercies in my life over the years.  At this juncture in time, I have to recognize I’ve been granted a long life.  In Psalm 90: 10, the Psalmist says: “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is only trouble and tragedy; for it quickly passes, and we disappear.”  Well, I recently passed not just that first number–—but lo and behold, even that second number!

This life has suffered many broken bones, near-death experiences, such as riding a moped and striking a car that turned in front of me, being lifted off the bike into the air and soaring freely over the car to just missing a curb.  It happened in Montpellier, France returning home from class at the university.  My very first thought was in French, “Ça y est” (This is it!).  My immediate second thought and prayer were in English, “I commit my spirit to you, O Lord.”  Soaring in the air, I thought I would die.  Besides many broken bones and near-death misses, my life has consisted of not a few disappointments and many failures on my part.

As I look back on life, I’m reminded of many happy, positive moments, relationships, and experiences.  I’m not a pessimist or an optimist.  I tend to be a realist, which accounts for my seeing both failures and progress in my growth as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ.

I find myself acknowledging much of what David acknowledged in his life.  I never imagined one day I would confess, as David did, that my “iniquities are more than the hairs of my head.” (Psalm 40: 12) And my head is quite full of hair.  One recent morning, I was reading Psalm 86, a prayer of David.  As I read through this beautiful prayer, I found myself first tearing up and then practically sobbing.  It wasn’t a painful sobbing, but rather a humble and joyful sobbing.  It was because I was so struck with how merciful God has been to me all these years. This wasn’t a first-time experience for me, as it has happened before in these later years. There’s a beautiful Black spiritual song entitled, “He Never Failed Me Yet.”  How true that has been in my experience and relationship with God in Christ, that is, He is always faithful despite my frequent unfaithfulness.

In Psalm 86, David prays, “In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, for You will answer me.”  He has faithfully done that for me.  Further on, he prays, “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.”  This speaks to his many, many mercies in my life.

At one point David prays this–—a petition I am making mine: Teach me, Your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name.”

I have found crying before God–—whether in confession or simply out of joy and thanksgiving because of his graciousness and mercies over a long period of time–—is salutary.  It ends with a sense of genuine peace with God.  God deserves our sincere humility before him. A thought came to me that perhaps the Holy Spirit is preparing my conscience and spirit for that time when I will personally bow before him in the life to come and perhaps sooner than later.

Have you cried before God lately?  You might find it to be as precious an experience as I have.  It doesn’t hurt at all.  It beneficially heals and rightly humbles.

Helen Louise Herndon is a member of Central Presbyterian Church (EPC) in St. Louis, Missouri. She is freelance writer and served as a missionary to the Arab/Muslim world in France and North Africa.

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