Lessons from Hezekiah – The Teardrop Bottle
2 Kings 20:2-6
“Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, ‘Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: ‘Go back and tell Hezekiah… I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you… I will deliver you….” NIV
Hezekiah was a man who had served God faithfully all through his reign, reversing the long slide into ungodliness under the rule of his predecessors. And then, he was struck down by a fatal illness. God sent the prophet Isaiah to warn him that he would soon die. When told of this, Hezekiah did what he always did when confronted with bad news – he prayed and cried out to God.
Before he was even out the front door, the Lord told Isaiah to go back and tell Hezekiah that the Lord had heard his prayer and seen his tears. And the Lord said he would add fifteen more years to Hezekiah’s life. What an amazing turnaround!
Does God really understand our pain or sorrow? Does He really see our tears? Can He really empathize with our feelings of despair and despondency? One of the things that has always struck me about God as I have studied the Bible over the years is that He is ever sensitive to the cries of His people. He sees every tear. He hears every cry. So many times it is recorded in the Bible that the people cried bitter tears to the Lord and He heard their cry. And Jesus Himself knows what it’s like to weep. When Jesus stood before the grave of Lazarus, John 11:35 says that Jesus wept.
I believe His presence is strongest at those times when we weep bitter tears, when we struggle with difficult situations, when we find ourselves in the hard places of life. Perhaps it has something to do with His promise to never forsake us, to be there to lift burdens, to comfort the broken-hearted. His heart weeps over our pain and sorrow and He takes our hand and walks us through the valley of tears that we sometimes have to pass through.
Surely He who gave His own life for us cannot be unmoved by our pain and sorrow. In Psalm 56:8, the Psalmist says of God, “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book” (THE MESSAGE). Another translation says, “You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle!” (TLB). He cares! Our tears are precious to Him; they never fall to the ground unseen. Our tears move God greatly. When we are distressed, He is distressed! (Isaiah 63:9).
Are you facing some grave challenge? Do you feel alone and abandoned? Are you experiencing rejection? Is your world crashing down all around you? Are you reeling from some bad news, some ill report? Is your heart in sorrow? Is this a time of weeping for you?
I want to tell you that Jesus knows your pain. He hears your cries and sees your tears. He is holding His teardrop bottle, catching every tear that falls. He is with you right now and if you could see His eyes, you would see His tears too. Be assured that He will hold your hand and will lead you out of the valley of tears. “The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces…” (Isa 25:8).
I pray that you may know His peace and experience His presence in a special way today. No matter what you may be going through, remember that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5