Tears of Joy
We all cry; it is a part of life. We cry when we are sad or sorrowful, such as when a loved one passes away or when we feel mistreated. We also cry when we are joyful! Wait, tears of joy? Is that even possible? It is! Tears of joy are a part of our life just as much as tears of sadness and sorrow are. What are tears of joy? They are a special form of crying which can occur when a person is completely involved in situations in which they experience great joy. Now to understand that, we have to know what joy means. According to the Oxford dictionary, joy is a “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” But I think joy and happiness are two completely different things. We often use the terms “joy” and “happiness” interchangeably. The way the world uses them makes them sound like the exact same thing, but are they really? Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes like anger and sadness, whereas, to me, joy is the feeling of knowing that one day, no matter what you are going through you will get to heaven. (You can see this in Philippians 4:4-8.) Let’s look at some examples in the Bible of people that shed tears of joy.
Genesis 33:4 states, “But Esau ran to meet him (Jacob), and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” Esau and Jacob had not seen each other in a very long time--not since Jacob had lied to their father and taken away Esau’s blessing. Therefore, Esau was ready to kill Jacob. Yet we are told that Esau ran to Jacob, embraced him, and kissed him—all of which indicates his joy to see Jacob. Esau missed Jacob! He loved Jacob! Then the scripture says they wept together. Don’t all those things indicate that they were shedding tears of joy?
Genesis 33:4 states, “But Esau ran to meet him (Jacob), and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”
Also notice Genesis 45:14-15: “Then he (Joseph) fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. Moreover, he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.” Joseph was reunited with his brothers after a long period of absence from them. When Joseph had told everyone else to go out of the room, he wept tears of joy with his brothers. Remember that the last time Joseph had seen his brothers they were planning to kill him but instead sold him into slavery, Joseph missed and loved his brothers just like Esau missed and loved Jacob. In both situations, when they were reunited, they wept tears of joy.
In conclusion, tears of joy are not a bad thing; in fact, they are beneficial. They show that we are joyful through whatever hard times we face. Just like Jacob and Esau, when we see loved ones from whom we have been separated, tears of joy are appropriate. While we may not face the same difficulties that Joseph faced, we will go through times of trial. When God sees us through hard times, certainly tears of joy are appropriate.
By Ella Kennedy