“I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. I will surely heal you.”
King Hezekiah lay on his deathbed, sentence passed against his longer life through the message of God’s servant, the prophet Isaiah.
This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.” (Isaiah 38:1, Berean Study Bible)
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, weeping bitter tears, and in his grief, he cried out to God.
We are talking in this season about tears, tears that might yet pour down on behalf of those in deep misery, suffering great loss, those shamed, men, women, and children in pain or mourning or fear. We are together for the sake of a more heartfelt compassion, willing to weep, willing to wail if our tears might move the heart of God, if simply, it is time they were shed. It is a delicate subject; we are not endeavoring to manufacture anything except a deeper caring, and we know that nothing we would run off of an emotional conveyor belt would be valid.
Even so, what can we do? What is to be done? Are we as fully invested as we might be in prayer and intercession? Have we prayed our best prayers, those from the most empathetic recesses of our hearts? Are we holding back? Have our pleas touched the heart of God?
Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him. (Matthew 20:32-34, NET)
Jesus’ compassions were kindled, and when they were, He moved with compassion to help and to heal. Almost without doubt, there have been times when the words we have spoken out of desperation or deepest concern for others have moved the soul of God, but in this season, with so much at stake for ourselves, our families, our churches, our neighbors, and our nations, we ask the question, “Could we care more deeply? Could our compassions be kindled, and could ours kindle Yours, O Lord?” The Scripture says that His can be!
How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled. (Hosea 11:8, NASB)
In the Scripture above, God speaks in soliloquy regarding Israel. There are many, many “How much more” considerations in the Word, and this is one of them. How much more would God’s heart be moved if, rather complaining or berating or expressing our outrage and disappointment, we were to cry out to Him on behalf of those we know who are as backsliding, as unfaithful, as lost and reprobate as Israel was? Individuals, families, and nations are at risk.
I didn’t shed any tears yesterday, did you? I didn’t try to weep, but I did try to care, and I prayed throughout the day for someone beloved in my life, someone in terrible trouble, someone for whom I’ve prayed, indeed, but I prayed harder. On purpose. Again and again throughout the day. Before the day was done, it was not a matter of trying to remembering to pray, but of having that one’s tears dropping upon my soul almost every moment. No wonder we hold back!
It wasn’t comfortable, but it was comforting. It took a little bit of time, not very much, but living in the reality of all my friend is suffering, my own day was more streamlined, more resolute and focused, as stands to reason.
Let’s mingle our prayers and our tears, if we shall shed them. Choose one or two matters each day, and pray until You know You have kindled the compassions of Christ, because He has set yours aflame, anew.
By permission, German Bundesarchiv on Wikipedia
1945, (“An aged german woman, overcome by the worry of trying to find a home, breaks down and cries, head in hand. In her other hand she weeps on the wooden bench, she holds the shifts of a small hand-barrow containing her few scant belongings.”)