“Papa, I Can’t Stop Crying” (Part One)

“Papa, I Can’t Stop Crying” (Part One)

The Story in Front of this Story

We are blessed with two wonderful grandsons. The three-year-old is the oldest and quieter than his rambunctious little brother. He also has a sensitive little heart, and, as so many little ones do for a season, struggles with “separation anxiety” when his parents leave them with us or to get away by themselves.

If you are a grandparent, like us, you remember your children pitching fits, clinging for dear life, and crying inconsolably as you tried to pry them away and pass them off to your parents. [All parents need that time, and there is no guilt associated with the despair of the little ones. The good news is two-fold: though it may take a while, we are able to finally console and reassure them. And as they get older, most will come to welcome that time away from their parents!]

During one such getaway time, my precious grandson was more distraught than I have ever seen. He cried uncontrollably and inconsolably for hours. I walked him around outside hoping that would take his mind off his “dire” situation. He finally looked at me and said, “Papa, I can’t stop crying.”  Those words melt the hearts of any parent or grandparent.

As I sat praying and journaling about what message the Lord had for me to prepare and share with you this week, my grandson’s weepy words came to mind. Following are four kinds of tears many of us have wept at some point in our lives – uncontrollably and/or inconsolably.

Some people use the terms sadness and sorrow interchangeably.  I differentiate between them in this way. I used sadness when discussing feelings or emotions brought on by circumstances. Sorrow is a deeper, more profound sadness I equate with that brought on primarily by people.

Tears of Sadness (Wept over circumstances in life outside our control)The Feeling is Helpless

Tears of sadness are most often brought about by disappointments, failures, defeats; over which you had no control. Consider these examples:

  • Total your car you cannot afford to replace. No way to get to/from work
  • Lose your job—can no longer pay your bills or uproots your family.
  • As a result of the above circumstances you lose your home or end up homeless.
  • A serious medical diagnosis or illness
  • Natural Disasters – flood, tornado, hurricane, and other natural disasters destroy your possessions.

When such bad circumstances of life happen to people, many feel helpless with nowhere to turn. Please God, give me a break! Where are You? You want to know He is real in times like these. You want Him to change your circumstances. Overwhelmed, you begin to cry, and tears of sadness flow like streams from your eyes. And like my little grandson, thru the tears and sniffles, Papa I can’t stop crying.

We want God to change our circumstances!

Job was the best OT example of this kind of circumstantial horror coming on someone, through no fault of his own. Most people know the story of Job. God was esteeming him to satan, which led satan to challenge God to let him work over Job and his family. He believed Job only obeyed God and lived righteously because of all the blessings on his life. God allowed satan to take away his children and all his possessions before He finally allowed satan to inflict massive sores and disease head to toe—for no reason! Job had done nothing to deserve these horrible circumstances in his life. Job’s tears of sadness:

My face is flushed from weeping, And deep darkness is on my eyelids, Although there is no violence in my hands, And my prayer is pure. Job 16:16-17

Hannah was a godly woman, one of two wives married to Elkanah. She had one great problem that was particularly hard on women of her day—she was barren (unable to have a baby). To make matters worse, the other wife taunted her about it.  Here is an account of the impact it had on her:

“(the other wife) would provoke (Hannah); so she wept and would not eat…(Hannah), greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.”  1 Samuel 1:7, 10

Profound sadness brought on two godly people for no apparent reasons.  Both stories eventually have “happy endings”.

Though Job questioned God throughout his ordeal and argued his innocence, he remained faithful and would not “curse God and die” as his wife suggested. God restored Job’s health, possessions, and gave him the same number of children again.  His was blessed more after his calamities than before.

God answered Hannah’s plea for a son, and she kept her vow to God. She gave Samuel to Him and he became a mighty judge and prophet for God all his life.

If we let Him, God has ways of holding us close and comforting us while we weep uncontrollably and inconsolably. Best of all, He understands when we say to Him, “Papa I can’t quit crying.”

God says to us that is OK. He does the same for us as He did His servant and psalmist, David:

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8

When we are overwhelmed and feeling helpless, we can go to our “Papa” to wipe our tears and calm our anxious hearts.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very ready help in trouble. Therefore we will not hear, though  the earth shakes And the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.” Psalm 46: 1-3

While it is very often easier said than done, we must keep trusting God through our circumstances resting in the FACT that He knows and cares and catches every tear.

For Christ’s sake,