Last week we talked about "Deliverance from Death." Our verse in the Hallel Psalm tells us that in addition to our souls being delivered from death, our eyes are delivered from tears, from weeping. It has already happened and continues to happen. Whereas the soul refers to our very life, our personality, our individual capacity to live, in this context our eyes refers to the emotions, since it is "tears" from which we are delivered: sorrow, sadness, depression. The figurative meaning of the Hebrew word for "eyes" is "fountain."
A future time is coming in which "the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces" (Isaiah 25: 8); the same promise is made in Revelation 7: 17: "and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (It is repeated in Revelation 21: 4.) In a sense, it is easy to see that there will be no tears in heaven--that once death and dying are vanquished forever and we are removed from the presence of sin, there will be no need for tears.
But the deliverance can be experienced now, in this life. The prophet Isaiah says concerning the Messiah, that He was sent "to bind up the brokenhearted" (Isaiah 61: 1). Jesus quoted this verse in reference to Himself in Luke 4: 18. Psalm 147: 3 says of the Lord, "He heals the broken in heart and binds up their grief." These refer to now—the present.
How does God accomplish that healing? A simple "abra-cadabra" or "presto chango" or other magic words to make us feel better? Of course not. Sometimes the healing takes awhile, as in the loss of a loved one or a broken marriage. But when we take our eyes off our pain and look at the Lord, when we dwell not on the loss but on a coming reunion (assuming the lost loved one is saved by faith or died before an age of accountability), when we savor the good memories instead of the painful parting—then sorrow fades, the tears cease. Of course, people can experience this kind of healing (or "getting over it") apart from God, but then it is not a deliverance but an achievement.
Again, we look at the meaning of the Hebrew word "delivered": "to rescue, pull off, strip away, deliver, strengthen, equip, and present." God can rescue us from the situation which brings the tears, can pull off or strip away the tears and the pain that causes them, can deliver us from the sorrow and strengthen us to experience His joy. That is the sense in which we, the lesser force, are acted upon by the greater force.
As opposed to this, there is the ability that we humans have, as part of the human condition, to "get over" painful situations and circumstances, to "get past" the sorrow and remember the joy, to "move beyond" the heartache. We can "build a bridge and get over it." And there is nothing wrong in that. In fact, such determination and motivation is often a positive attribute. But when we handle it ourselves, apart from God, we miss His blessing in the healing. It is not that we cannot do it without Him, it is that doing it without Him robs us of the greatest measure of deliverance.
There are times when we can call out to the Lord to immediately come in and heal our broken heart, and He will do so. I have experienced this, and I know others who have experienced it. Does it mean that we never feel sad or miss the person again? No. But we are delivered from the overwhelming sadness that fills our eyes with tears that flow like a fountain. The desperation and despair of the sorrow is stripped away, and we can bear the loss. And if we let Him, the Lord will fill up that hole that is left in our heart and life—with Himself and with His eternal (and sometimes temporal) blessings.
Sometimes, the promise of the eternal removal of tears comforts us now. Other times, simply the presence and reality of the Lord Jesus Christ comforts us. But in all cases for the believer, to experience His deliverance is blessed—deliverance from death, deliverance from sorrow and tears. Next week, the third deliverance: "my feet from falling."
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