When Dad had his stroke he was out of it for about 24 hours. His memory ran in cycles of a few minutes, then he’d forget everything that had happened and would start over brand new. I had left work when the word came and joined Mom at the hospital. We stayed with Dad until he finally got a room and I then drove Mom home so she could get a few hours of sleep and grab what she needed for an extended hospital stay with Dad. When we got back the next morning, Dad was himself again (mostly). Suddenly, I was overcome. I sat on the window sill and turned my face away for a few moments. I hadn’t realized how much I had been affected by Dad’s illness until he showed definite signs of improvement. I had been busy taking care of Mom, being strong for her, trying to help in whatever way I could and when that need was past, the emotions of almost losing my Dad came rushing in on me. Knowing that, yes, he was going to be OK caused a huge emotional release, a more obvious one than the illness itself had.
We see this kind of thing fairly regularly. Someone successfully completes a long, hard journey and once it is clear that the suffering is over then, and only then, do they break down in tears. They never cried through all the years of toil or all the aching miles, but once the trip was completed, they broke down in tears of joy that it was over and everything would be ok. Often when this happens, a close friend or relative will hold them and comfort them “yes, it’s over.” I’ve thought of Rev. 21 in these terms lately. It says, “and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes”. Could it be the tears of joy at having finally completed our course and made it to heaven that He will wipe away? “That’s right, you’re here with Me. Everything will be ok.” The verse does go on to mention that death, pain and crying will be no more, so the tears of this life’s pain are definitely in view, but I like the mental picture of God smiling as He hugs me, comforting me as I cry tears of relief and joy, “I’m finally home!”
Matt 25:21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”