MANY times I've heard people say: "When I get to heaven I'm going to ask God about" ...fill in the blank. The main reason people say or feel this way is because they think God has made some mistake or he did something wrong. The premise of this is they assume they know better than God. but God is perfect and we have to be O.K. with this.

            ONE evening I heard the famous movie star, Robert Deniro, say to a well known talk show host, "If there is a God He has a lot of explaining to do." Wow, really? God has to explain Himself to us? I think it's going to be the other way around, and when we get to heaven we're going to have to answer to God for this mess of a world. I mean He gave man free will after all. Given that, who is at fault for this mess? But this seems to be the attitude of many people in today's society... God has ruined our world and He'd better have some good answers when we get to heaven, because we very important humans. We must make God either laugh or cry or both. But know this, it's us and not Him.

            IN Psalm 13:1-2, David asked God a few questions regarding some struggles he faced. Here is what he wrote: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?" I think we all have questions for God like these: why is this happening to me? When are you going to help me? Where are you when I need you? And when will all this end? You know, asking God questions is not wrong. It is only natural to wonder what's going on or wrong in this world or in your life. But what is wrong is to not ask God and then become angry or bitter, or to ask and then ignore the answers that He gives.

            JUST as we may have some questions for God, what if He has some questions of His own for us? What's interesting is often when God wanted to talk with a person in the Bible He'd begin with a question. So in John 20:15, when He came across Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb He asked her: "...Why are you crying?"

            OBVIOUSLY, we all have a past. Our past will include sins, mistakes, failures and even oversights. All of these produce regrets we have to live with. We also have hurts of just about every kind imaginable. Some we have caused by our own actions or decisions and others by someone else. Whichever or for whatever reason they are the things that make us shake our heads in sorrow or shed tears over as we try to go to sleep at night. These are the reasons many of us are crying.

            THE fact Jesus was concerned about Mary's tears should tell us that He is concerned about ours as well. Compassion was a hallmark of Jesus' ministry on earth, and continues today. Matthew 9:36 says, "When He saw the crowds, He had compassion..., because they were harassed and helpless..." Hebrews 4:15 says, "For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses." These two verses describe my feelings at times: harassed, helpless and weak. But we can trust that Jesus is here right now to comfort and strengthen us through it all.

            THE other thing about crying is not just over our regrets, but we cry when things don't work out right or we are not getting our way. This type of crying is more like complaining, or whining. Most of us believe that because we are God's children and He promises that everything works out for our good that our lives should be relatively carefree and painless. But what I fail to realize is God wants me to struggle because it is in this process and pressing that He makes me stronger and more mature.

            WHAT do you complain about and can you see the blessings on the other side? Sure, you may have some thing to legitimately cry about, but can you see and feel the hand of the Lord working in your life? There is a truth in life that I understand but I still battle with. This truth is that God is more interested in my character than He is in my comfort.

            I'D never tell you to stop crying over what hurts or confuses you. What I know is Jesus sees our tears and cares deeply for each of us. Ask Him about all your regrets and frustrations.