“Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. –II Kings 20:3 (NKJV)
Let me share with you something that happened yesterday while I was in the basement installing our new washer and dryer. I was walking past my tool bench when I looked up on the peg board and saw a collar with some dog tags attached to it. I tried not to, but I found myself taking the collar down and gently holding it in my hands. This was the collar that had been worn by my dog, Jenny, who had died a little over two years ago. I must have walked past my tool bench dozens of times without so much as glancing at that old collar, but I decided to take it down and relive some memories.
With a lump gathering in my throat and tears welling in my eyes I thought about the last time Jenny had worn that collar. She was dying from an inoperable lung tumor and her breathing was labored and she had stopped eating. I spoke with the vet and made the arrangements. It was a warm day for December, and I placed her in the back seat with the window partially down so she could enjoy her last ride in the car. After arriving at the vet’s office, I gently gathered her up and carried her inside. As I carried her into the office she went limp in my arms. Jenny, the most loyal, faithful, and obedient dog I have ever known, was gone. I had removed her collar just before I buried her in the woods behind the house.
I have been blessed beyond measure, God has worked miracles in my life, and the Lord has moved in ways that that have touched me with the wonders of His grace. But at that moment I just missed my old dog. The tears came; I could not have stopped them anymore than I could have stopped a tidal wave. Understand that God has given us emotions for a reason, and sometimes we have to open our hearts and release whatever feelings with which we are struggling. King Hezekiah, a righteous and godly king, wept before the Lord in the face of a terminal illness. But in God’s mercy the king was given another fifteen years to live.
Isn’t it wonderful how that the Lord has given us emotions such as happiness, joy, and love? But we also have those more somber emotions which will bring about feelings of sorrow. Sometimes the most therapeutic course is to let the tears fall. God understands and He is always there to comfort us in our grief and sorrow. No problem is too big or too small for God to handle. He cares about all the problems we face.
Look to the Lord and find comfort in Him.