The tears of acceptance
Acts 20:37 “They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.”
Paul had said his farewell speech, they had knelt and prayed and now they all with tears embrace and kiss him.
I am familiar with tears. I often have tears in my eyes when I try to share my heart of what is happening in the missions world where I spend most of my time. Tears are not far from me. I was in a meeting yesterday where a prominent leader was so enthused for the cause that he had tears in his eyes. It was a powerful moment. We all know these kinds of tears. We also know the tears of regret like when Peter denies Christ. We know the tears of sorrow at the death of a loved one like Mary Magdalene had at the garden tomb and of course Jesus himself had at the death of Lazarus.
But the tears in this verse today are the tears of acceptance of the circumstance. Paul, the leader, is leaving them. They lovingly kiss him, hold on to him and they all weep.
In what has to be the most moving scene of the Old Testament Jonathan and David are weeping together as they part company. Jonathan had shot the arrows beyond the stone that David was hiding behind indicating to him that it was not safe for him to return to his father Saul. Oh how they both had wanted the arrows to fall short that day. The arrows of acceptance are very hard to pick up once they have been fired.
The arrows of God may leave a scar in your heart. Even today you may look back to that day when God shot the arrow beyond you and you realised there was a separation in your life from something so precious. Yes you wanted to hold on so desperately, there were plenty of tears, but like David bowing to the ground in an act of submission or Paul’s leadership team, you gave way to God’s Sovereignty. You may still not fully understand why you and your loved one had to separate. But it happened. It was His eternal plan. You wonder if there were more things you could have and should have said. You may have never felt so out of control in your life. It was out of your hands. You couldn’t have prevented it even if you tried and yes, you tried. One thing you found was that Jesus was waiting for you, He was there in the wilderness that followed. He has been with you clearing your pathway, leading you in the destiny foreordained for you, leading you to become all that you can become on this earth. You go forward now with tears still often in your eyes but perhaps the pain of that day is lessening and perhaps the smile comes more regularly as you rest in Gods eternal plan.