Tears are a funny thing. On one hand they are necessary to the healthy function of the eye but on the other, they are necessary to our mental health. Scientists have concluded that not only are there different kinds of tears, depending on the occasion, there are also mental health benefits to a good cry.

For some, tears are held back because they don’t want to seem weak or vulnerable to those around them. For others, holding back the tears is like trying to hold back a dam flooded by rainwater.

Why do we try so hard to cover up our tears and hurts? We tell young boys to never cry and young girls to toughen up. We even tell ourselves that we need just get over it and move on. Our culture has placed a stigma on tears that makes it seem as if we’re somehow weaker for them, but the bigger question should be, “What does God think about our tears? Does He value our tears?”

The Bible is full of tears. Esau wept when his father gave the blessing to Jacob (Gen. 27:38). Jacob wept when he saw his new bride Rachael for the first time (Gen. 29:11). Joseph wept when he recognized his brothers standing before him in Egypt (Gen. 42:24). And yes, even Jesus wept (John 11:35; Luke 19:41).

All of this proves that in the Bible tears were not seen with the same stigma or disrespect as today. More importantly, the Bible proves beyond doubt that our God does care about our tears. He values our tears.

In 2 Kings 20, we have a story about King Hezekiah. Isaiah is sent to inform him to get his affairs in order because he was going to die. Hearing that he turned to the wall, for some privacy, and wept bitterly before the Lord. Before Isaiah could reach the middle court, God tells him to return with a new message.

“I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears; behold I will heal you” (ESV).

God had compassion on him because he was being sincere, and the tears were clear proof of it. Do you realize that God sees you and your tears? He sees your heart, your hurts, and your tears. More importantly, they will move God to act for you. Seeing Hezekiah’s tears moved God to extend his life for 15 more years and your tears will move Him too.

In fact, David believed that God kept track of every single tear. In Psalm 56:8, David asked the Lord to put his tears in a bottle and write them down in His book. God has a bottle of tears sitting on His shelf with your name on it and He knows every single tear you’ve ever shed.

Your tears and hurts mean something to your Father. Every single one moves Him just like it does when you see your children hurting.

So, the next time something happens that causes you to fight back the tears, remember that God loves you, knows you and the hurt, and will have compassion and act for you. Your tears matter to God.