Tears in a Bottle

by Jan 16, 2018Missions

As November arrived it was hard to believe that our five months in Cambodia was finally drawing to a close. As the reality of this set in, my tears started to flow. I felt that there was unfinished business for me in this beautiful nation, yet I was excited to go home and spend some time with my adult kids and support my daughter as she prepares for the arrival of twins.

Each day as I walked the streets near our apartment in Phnom Penh I tried to remember the sights, the sounds and certainly the smells. I didn’t want to forget anything about this chaotic city. I wanted to capture it all in my heart.

In the week of our departure, I felt that I just ran out of tears. I had nothing left inside me, no more to give. Someone prayed for me before departing Cambodia and reminded me that God would bottle my tears. These tears of sorrow and joy would not be forgotten!

We then returned to Australia knowing that a dear friend was losing his battle with cancer and his promotion to heaven was imminent. We made it home in time for John to visit him a couple of times while he was still conscious. Just 10 weeks from his diagnosis until he quietly slipped into eternity.  Not fair….too soon….the tears again flowed. At his memorial service, which was so powerful and uplifting, I wept for the loss his three young daughters were suffering. I wept for the unfulfilled dreams of a man so passionate about the mission of the gospel overseas, and I wept as I rededicated my life to the cause of the Gospel.

I read Psalm 56, a time when David was in captivity and genuinely had a reason to be calling out to God for help. The idea behind the keeping of “tears in a bottle” is remembrance. David is expressing a deep trust in God—God will remember his sorrow and tears and will not forget about him. This was a real comfort as I start to focus on the next chapter of our lives and the exciting path God has in store for us. Our tears are not futile. God knows each of His children intimately, and every tear we shed has meaning to Him.

It was time to ask Father God to renew a right spirit in me, to restore to me the joy of salvation.

One thing I really learned the value of during our time in Cambodia was to soak in the presence of the Lord. It was time again to set aside some of the distractions of life at home and remember the place where God speaks to me, in that place of intimacy as I shut myself away from the busyness of the world. What a blessing it is to be able to listen to some of the most anointed worship leaders of our time as they pour out their hearts, as they so melodically share their faith journey with the world.

2018 is a year of new beginnings, of immense promise and fulfillment in God, and a year of abundance and overflow. Thank you, God for the revelation of your love and destiny for my life.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; And take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with a willing spirit.”  Psalm 51: 10 – 12

Written by:  Ruth Bryan
Published on: 1/16/2018

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