Eric Clapton wrote one of the most honest, tender and heartbreaking songs ever written, Tears In Heaven. He wrote it from the depth of emotion he experienced after the untimely and tragic death of his young son. The lyrics strike a chord. You can hear the heart of a grieving father:
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on, ’cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven.
Would you hold my hand if I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand if I saw you in heaven?
I’ll find my way through night and day, ’cause I know I just can’t stay here in heaven.
Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees.
Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please.
Beyond the door there’s peace I’m sure.
And I know there’ll be no more tears in heaven.
What sadness. What strong sentiments. And, what a beautiful song. These thoughts, like so many of humanity’s great thoughts, find their origin in the Bible:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away,” (Revelation 21:3-4).
Tonight, we spent some time crying with friends about a difficult situation they’re facing. There were lots of tears. While we were there, I caught myself daydreaming about heaven and thinking about how nice it will be to be in a place where there are no more tears, no more heartache and no more pain. The verses from Revelation 21 ran through my mind. And, it caused me to realize something:
There will be tears in heaven.
The Apostle John says it right there. Reread the text. No matter what Mr. Clapton and a lot of Christians might say, there will be tears in heaven. Why? Maybe they’ll be tears of joy and elation. Maybe they’ll be tears of sorrow and regret. Maybe they’ll be tears of awe and wonder.
But, neither the presence of the tears nor the cause of the tears are the point of the text. The main point is different:
Our Savior is going to be there, near us, to physically wipe the tears from our eyes.
What comfort! What encouragement! What anticipation!
As wonderful as heaven is going to be—even though there will be tears there—it is possible to experience that eternal kind of life right here and right now. Jesus may not be physically present to wipe your tears but I am. God almighty sees your sadness, grief, sorrow and pain. So do we. He knows the cause, he knows what you’re feeling and he knows how things will turn out. I don’t; but I’m going to wait with you to find out. Until heaven, he uses brothers and sisters in Christ to be the ones to wipe the tears from our eyes and wrap arms around our sagging shoulders.
And, as we bear one another’s burdens in this way, we anticipate that wonderful day in Jesus’ comforting presence when he’ll take over and make everything OK.