NOTIONS
Put my tears into Thy bottle . (Psalm 56:8)

It didn’t look like much. In fact, it appeared to be too ordinary to be practical. But my grandmother said it was, so it was. Whatever my grandmother believed to be right and good, it had to be. So when she referred to a zigzag shaped seam binding to be sewn on the inside of a dress she was sewing, I shrugged my shoulders, watched her work, and knew that it was part of the plan. Once the garment was completed, I could not see the seam binding, but it was firmly placed underneath to reinforce the hem, and to complete the garment correctly.

Whenever my grandmother was talking about items she required for her sewing projects, she spoke of notions. Notions included seam binding, buttons, thread, and needles: basically the hidden yet necessary elements to hold a garment in place and make it serviceable. When my grandmother and I were out shopping and she was choosing her various items, notions were on her list. I found myself eager to look at the fabrics, and see the colors and patterns of fabric bolts. But she would look at the totality of a project. Even when she was choosing the pattern and fabric, notions were essential to the process and she included them in her design and planning.

The Bible tells us that God places our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). He saves them. He saves our tears shed from sorrows and afflictions imposed and/or self-imposed. He captures and contains them. Tears do not evaporate. When we weep, we dry off our faces and carry on. But the liquid proof of our pain has been lodged in the storehouse of God. In Revelation, we are told that the Lord will wipe every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). Could it be that the collection of our tears will be poured into Heaven’s Crystal Sea, and turned into living water that flows unto God’s glory? Water is a powerful sign that God uses. Our tear-drops are relevant in this earth realm, and in Heaven they are kept to withstand time and remain secure with God.

What notions are to sewing projects, teardrops are to the faith life of a believer in Jesus Christ. In God’s estimation tears are quite valuable. Tears are cohesive. They connect to the heart and all things true. Everything that touches the hearts of God’s children touches God’s heart. God sees the tears cried, and He feels the pain. Losses in life produce tears. Sometimes tears are deep and riveting; sometimes soft and quick. Whatever the reasons for tears, the Lord blends the experience of sorrow with His Spirit, to bring comfort and refine character conformed into the likeness of Jesus.

This process to console and strengthen in life losses is ongoing. It will not cease until we are in Heaven with the Lord. Only then will we comprehend the depth of development that it took to produce a likeness to Jesus, which is God’s overarching goal for each of us. Notions in life are essential to build us, i.e., tears, laughter, challenge, decision-making, grief, faith, obedience, trusting God, and even disappointments, serve to fulfill God’s plans. In the process, God works all things together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His promises (Romans 8:28). The God of perfection and purpose knows how to do this—and He shall.

When my grandmother finished sewing a garment, the seam binding could no longer be seen. Similarly, when our seasons of tears pass, we enter a different season and tears that once were are no more. However, the tears that fell are held in trust by God. We can trust God to do all things well. Knowing that God has captured tears and holds them can only mean that we never cry alone or in vain. God knows and heals. He is lovingly and wisely with us. His Spirit is our handkerchief. His promise is our balm.

Lord, Thank You for making it clear in Your Word that You see tears that flow and You save them for Your perfect reasons. Lord, our lives are a walk of faith, and we learn that the hardest trials often produce the deepest faith and meaning. Lord, please grant strength and peace to those who hurt and shed tears. Send a spirit of encouragement. Be glorified in our tears, and be glorified by our continued walks of faith through painful seasons. All this is asked in Jesus’ Name and for His precious sake, Amen.

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