When I was a classroom teacher, I read a story to my young scholars about an elderly Mr. O.
Mr. O wanted to brew tear water tea. So, Mr. O sat in his kitchen and thought of all the sad things that would make him cry. As he cried, he held his tea pot close to his face so that the tears would fall into the tea pot. When the tea pot was full, he stopped crying, set the pot onto his wood stove and brewed tear water tea.
Mr. O then remarked about how good was his tear water tea, even if it was a little bit salty. (Of course, my young scholars thought that this story was ridiculously funny.)
In Psalm 56:8, David wrote a verse about God keeping tears in bottles. “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
At the time of David’s writing of this Psalm, David was in hiding from King Saul. David felt that his life was in constant danger. During this time of peril, David wrote this psalm as a reminder of God’s protection and mercy. In verse 3 of this psalm, David writes, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” So why does David mention tears?
God takes note of the afflictions of His people. Even though His children go through harsh trials, God never removes His love. People are not perfect, leaders are not perfect, and friends are not perfect, but God is faithful to His promises. When David was in constant movement from a jealous King Saul, David would seek peace from God Himself. David knew that God observed David with compassion and concern. David was in constant distress, but he allowed his faith to remain in God because he knew that God had chosen him to be the next king of Israel.
The apostle Paul reminded Timothy in II Timothy 1:4 that God would not forget the sorrows and tears of His people. Those tears and sorrows are somehow noted by God and are not lost by Him. God takes note of the intense prayers of His children when praying for family members, communities or nations. God remembers our prayers.
According to Revelation 5:8, golden vials of various smells will be opened at the throne of God. These are the prayers of saints that have been offered to God through the centuries. God considers prayer to be like incense, precious odors spilling fragrance in His throne room. Prayers offered to God by His dear saints are very precious to God. He calls His saints jewels.
Malachi 3:16-17 adds, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.” What is in the book of remembrance? God used this as a visual to remind His children that He takes note of our faithfulness, our encouraging words to one another and that our love and service has been appreciated by Him. In a sense of accounting practices, God reminds His children that He does take note of our prayers and deeds.
As noted above, our Heavenly Father keeps a record of our prayers, concerns and faithfulness. His love for us is so great that He considers our prayers to Him to be as sweet smelling as the finest flower. Our deeds of love toward others are recorded as being as valuable as depositing money into a Heavenly bank account. His lesson for us today is that even though answered prayer may be delayed; keep faithful in your prayer life.
Rev. Kitty Mears serves at Mt. View Pentecostal Holiness Church where she is an assistant adult teacher.