A GOOD CRY
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I had a good cry?” You may ask, “Whats good about crying?” More than you might think! The Bible contains 68 references to the word “wept” and 35 to “tears.” Psalm 139:14 states “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works.” Our loving Abba Yahweh never does or makes anything without a wise reason!
Crying really can be good for us and it is natural to cry for various reasons. Of course we all know that “self-control” (temperance) is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23), so I am not talking here about forced or manipulative crying, but crying that happens in our lives for natural reasons.
How do we really know that crying is natural and good for us? We know from Bible Scriptures and from scientific research, as well.
The Bible tells us about different people crying for different reasons. John 11:35 – often quoted as “the shortest verse in the Bible” – states simply “Yahshua wept.” Peter cried with bitter regret, upon realizing he had denied his teacher and Messiah, and Yahshua had told him that he would do this; “And Peter called to mind the word that Yahshua said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept”(Mark 14:72). When brothers Jacob and Esau reunited after almost 20 years of separation, weeping was a very natural thing for both of them; “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept” (Gen 33:4).
Another example of weeping is found in the book of Esther. Queen Esther came before king Ahasuerus, after the hanging of Haman. “And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agate and his device that he had devised against the Jews” (Esther 8:3). These tears were natural after all of the fasting and stress she had just gone through with her people, and so crying came naturally in this situation and not in any way as a manipulative tool. (Incidentally, I personally believe that if she did not feel loved by her husband the king, natural tears like this would have been heldback).
So just what is “the science behind tears”? In Psychology Today (July 27, 2010), Judith Orloff, MD, wrote about “the healing power of tears” and how they purge and help heal the body from stress, fatigue and pain. It may – or may not! – surprise you to know that humans are the only creatures who do this! In fact, our bodies produce three different kinds of tears: Reflex, Continual and Emotional tears.
Reflex tears are produced automatically to clear out dust particles and exhaust from our eyes. They are also the kind you cry when you chop onions! Continual (or “Basal”) tears contain the chemical “Lysozyme” which is anti-bacterial, helping to protect our eyes from infections. This chemical also “drips” down to our sinuses on occasion, via our tear ducts, to keep our nose moist and free from bacteria.
Emotional tears, though, have extra benefits for our overall mental health and well-being: Dr. Wm Frey, sometimes called the “tear expert” at Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis, discovered that these tears contain stress hormones and toxins that accumulate during stressful times in our lives, which are released upon crying. Additional studies have shown that crying also stimulates our bodies to produce extra endorphins – often referred to as “the feel good hormone.” Is it any wonder, then, that contained in the Bible are both of the following verses?! “I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears” (Psalms 6:6), and “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (Psalms 126:5). Some other interesting facts discovered by Frey indicate that both boys and girls cry about the same amount – up until the age of about 12, and that women cry about four times as often as men. There is no reason to “compare” the two, for our loving Abba Yahweh made us different for very wise reasons, and comparing is not wise! “Comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor 10:12b).
Have you ever noticed that on those occasions when you cry during prayer, you feel so relieved and good afterwards? There is more than one Bible verse that indicates crying while praying. Note this one; “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;” followed by “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb 5:7-8). What a beautiful and perfect example to us!
Whether you are a woman or a man, never be ashamed of natural tears; they’re good for you! Be reassured also, that your Beautiful Creator Yahweh does notice every single tear you cry! “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for Elohim is for me.” (Psalms 56:8-9).
During this life here and now on earth for us, Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that there is “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” And for that time in the future that we long and hope for, Isaiah 25:8 tells us that, “He will swallow up death in victory; and my Sovereign Yahweh will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for Yahweh hath spoken it.”
By Melodie Illgen