By Penny L. Hunt
“You know how troubled I am;
you have kept a record of my tears.”
Psalm 56:8 (GNT)
Moments before the Just Give Me Jesus revival in Augusta, GA began, a friend stopped to talk with me. Her eyes sparkled with excited anticipation as she asked me to pray with her for her daughter-in-law, reluctantly taking a seat in the stands not far from where we stood.
My friend had been praying for years for her daughter-in-law to come to the cross with seemingly no results. She was thrilled that tonight she would soon be listening, along with thousands of others, to the gospel of Jesus Christ shared in word and song. I prayed with my friend and for her asking God to reassure her of His love for them both, regardless of the evening’s outcome.
The outcome was everything my friend had hoped for when, in the James Brown Arena, through the anointed words of His servant, Anne Graham Lotz, ( daughter of Billy Graham) God answered her prayers. The spiritual strongholds that had kept the wife of her son captive, crumbled at their feet as her daughter-in law responded to the invitation to come forward, softly whispering, “Please, come with me”. Hand-in-hand, they walked onto the arena floor to stand before the cross and pray for Jesus to come and fill the now surrendered fortress of her heart.
Earlier in the evening, just before leaving with my friends carpooling to the revival, I went through the mental checklist of things I needed to bring. As I did the words of a counselor trainer came to mind. “You may see tears…” I called to my friends, “Coming!” and quickly returned to the bedroom to tuck one of the antique handkerchiefs I collect into the sleeve of my blouse.
I did see tears; tears of joy and thanksgiving streaming across the cheeks of my friend as she shared with me how God had finally answered her prayers. In the moments of joy and thanksgiving we shared the handkerchief was nearly forgotten and only remembered when she said something about probably looking a wreck with mascara all over her face!
It was then that I pulled the handkerchief from my sleeve and pressed it into her hand sharing the words of Psalm 56 that speak of how God not only knows but records every tear we shed as we pray for those we love. Some translations say He saves them in a bottle. As she blotted her face, we thanked God for the tears she had shed in faithful prayer. When I insisted she keep the handkerchief she said she would be passing it on to her daughter-in-law as a reminder of the evenings events.
What a blessing it was to be with her that night! What an encouragement for me not to give up, but to steadfastly continue in prayer for the members of my own family who I have prayed for and cried over for years and years with seemingly no results. God hears our prayers. God treasures our tears and, as long as there is breath, there is hope for those we love.