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No More Tears


HighBeamMinistry.com

“For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; he will guide them to springs of the waters of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

 

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

 

Every once in a while, I like to dip into YouTube for a tiny taste of nostalgia.

 

I look for songs from my childhood, giggly stuff like Alvin and the Chipmunks’ “Witch Doctor” song (source – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGvEA6mjeBA). Yup, I still remember the chorus after nearly ahem six decades. “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang” (repeat ad nauseam if you’re age five or under.)

 

I also delight myself with old commercials. Here are a few of my favorites:

 

“Spicy Meatball” for AlkaSeltzer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48TewJlc6BA).

 

Also, “I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFKifpMtlNs). Another Alka Seltzer hit.

 

And then, there’s this gem for LIFE cereal that I hear quoted often. The infamous line, “Hey, Mikey! He likes it!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLQ0LZSnJFE).

 

Taking the YouTube time machine back to these old commercials often brings tears to my eyes. Some tears come from laughing hysterically. Others drip from the poignancy of a particularly moving subject. Sometimes, they come when they remind me of a time long past with family members who have long since died.

 

Death stinks. Literally, yes, but especially figuratively.

 

When death touches our lives, it rings a somber bell, reminding us of an inevitable event awaiting us all.

 

About nine months ago, I had to put down my beloved Corgi-Pomeranian canine companion, Tobias Winston Pembroke Underfoot, aka Zombie-Breath. The emptiness is still with me, wallpapered with 16-year-old memories. Toby was my constant companion for all those years. He would often sit under my desk as I worked, keeping my feet warm with his chin.

 

We used to call him Tobish, Toby-Wan-Kenobi, the Tobi-nator, Tobi-ashi-san, and Toblerone, among many other pet names. (See what I did there?)

 

Sure, Toby could sometimes be a pain in the tuchus, but those brief moments have faded rapidly into forgottenness.

 

I was doing well with the grief until the other day when I started down the path of watching those stupid commercials on YouTube, followed by Facebook reels. Without warning, I stumbled on a video that someone posted of the moment their beloved dog, elderly and sick, was euthanized in their vet’s office. It was tenderly done, and the dog’s owners made it a memorial for their pup. All it did for me was bring back fresh memories of Toby’s last day.

 

On that day, Toby suffered the last of his increasing string of seizures. I’ll spare you the details. Toby only found relief when he was nestled in my wife’s arms as we drove to the vet. All day, Toby’s face had been lined with distress. But in his final hours, a deep peace settled on him. He even had a faint smile of comfort at the corners of his mouth.

 

As Jeanne and I drove, I suddenly remembered the day we brought him home as a pup. That, too, involved a car ride. That, too, saw Toby lying in comfort on Jeanne’s lap. Our little as-yet-unnamed-puppy began his life with us on a happy, quiet note.

 

It ended peacefully on a sad, quiet note.

 

On the drive home, I vowed never to have another pet. I love the start of the me-dog relationship. I hate the inevitable end. As a meme pointed out recently, “To you, your dog is part of your life. To your dog, you are his whole life.”

 

The tears still flow, even as I write this.

 

My tears flow for pets, parents, grandparents, extended family, friends, congregation members, and even unnamed strangers I see on the news. The most challenging part of pastoral ministry for me was leading funeral services. I could conduct them well, and many commented on their comfort. But throughout the entire service, I feel the waves of grief washing over the congregation, often bringing tears to my eyes.

 

One time, I couldn’t even hold it together while reading a deceased father’s obituary as the grieving family faced me from the front pew, their faces both smiling and tearful. Funerals are especially tough for me when it’s a family member’s funeral. I can barely make it through to the prayer of dismissal.

Death stinks.

 

The day Toby entered my family’s life heralded the fated day of tears, even though we never knew when it would come. It’s the same with our arrival day on earth. Although the time is usually longer than sixteen years, the countdown is the same.

 

All because of sin. Thanks, Adam and Eve.

 

But our Heavenly Father sent the cure for death. Those who embrace the cure face a different inevitability – a forever life.

 

All because of salvation. Thanks, Jesus.

 

The tears of death will eventually become tears of joy, and all tears of sadness will end forever.

 

It reminds me of another commercial. YouTube calls it a “vintage” commercial. It was posted as “Vintage Johnson and Johnson No More Tears Shampoo commercial, ca. 1988” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx12JmY4hKU). Vintage? Give me a break. I was twenty-eight at the time. (Vintage, my eye! I’ll give ya vintage.)

 

J&J’s No More Tears shampoo was marketed because it could end the pain of getting shampoo in the baby’s eyes at bath time and the subsequent flood of tears. Know what? It worked as advertised! I used it once just to prove it.

 

Because life is infused with sin, the inherent pain of death stings and our eyes flow with tears to flush away the grief. As grief fades, so our tears taper off as a response. Tears are powerfully cleansing.

 

The Lord has His own No More Tears promise. Through Jesus, our Heavenly Father takes away the sting of death and separation from Him forever. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55 NKJV).

 

Because of Jesus, the sting of death no longer applies to us because we’ll never, ever be separated from God again, even though our bodies die. As our Heavenly Father has promised, we’ll get those bodies back after a while, which I call Body 2.0. For those family, friends, fellow Christians, and strangers around us who die –– we cry momentarily, but our Heavenly Father’s promise takes away the hopeless sting so many lost people experience. As Paul wrote, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

 

One day, there will be No More Tears because there will be no more sources of pain. Our sad tears will cease, even though we must all pass through bodily separation for a moment. But only if we give ourselves to Jesus first.

 

One thing I’ve noticed about the plethora of Near Death Experiences (NDE) people post online. Not one I’ve read has the deceased person crying during their heavenly experience. But that doesn’t mean we don’t on this side of the spiritual curtain.

 

We’re born to die. Our first day on earth begins the count. Everyone’s arrival in their earthly home already has their departure scheduled (Psalm 139:16). Tears of joy at birth will be followed by tears of sadness at death.

 

But that’s all going to change someday, thank God. When our Heavenly Father wraps up His eternal plan, we and our world will be restored to its Edenic beginnings, except sin and death will be entirely erased. And on the day, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

 

Adam’s hands brought the pain of death. Jesus’ hands brought the joy of life, and Jesus’ hands will personally wipe away your tears. “For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; he will guide them to springs of the waters of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).

 

I’ve often considered whether Toby will be with me in the afterlife. Okay, master theologians, don’t get your undies in a bunch, thinking I’m pushing the “All dogs go to heaven thing.” But admit it, we don’t know if that will happen. But if Jesus can resurrect me, why couldn’t He resurrect another created being should He so choose? That would bring tears of joy to me. I’ll leave it up to the Lord.

 

Take heart, dear reader, if grief weighs heavily on you now, and it’s hard to read these words because of your tears. God’s No More Tears promise is sure. Let your tears release pain’s pressure. Let them flush away your grief. When no more pain or sorrow exists, sad tears will disappear into the sunrise and never be seen or felt again.

 

Amen.


Shining the Light of God’s Truth on the Road Ahead

 

Pastor Jay Christianson

The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts

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