The Children's Bible Hour: Keys for Kids

Keys for Kids is a daily devotional for children.

Healing Tears

Bible Reading: Psalm 30:5; John 11:11-17, 34-36; 1 Peter 5:7

Dixon gasped as his bike flipped through the air. A searing pain ripped through his palms and knees. "Owww!" Angrily, he brushed away his tears. "I will not cry!" he said aloud. He picked up his bike and hobbled home.

Dixon's hands and knees ached almost as much as his heart did. Ever since his grandpa had died two weeks before, tears had been hiding right behind his eyes. But he was eleven now--too big to cry.

"Oh, you're hurt!" Mom exclaimed when Dixon limped into the kitchen.

"I was riding my bike and I fell." Dixon's voice trembled as he spoke.

"Come into the bathroom and let's get you cleaned up. Then I'll bandage those sore spots."

Mom gently washed away the dirt and then applied disinfectant to Dixon's injured knees. He gritted his teeth as the medicine stung. "I know it hurts a lot," Mom said, "but it's cleaning the wounds so they can heal."

Dixon took a deep gulp of air and sniffed. Mom put her arm around his shoulders and drew him to her. Dixon stiffened and pulled away. I will not cry, he said to himself. Eleven-year-old boys do not cry.

Mom seemed to know what he was thinking. "Dixon, it's okay to cry when you're hurting." Dixon shook his head angrily. "But it is," Mom said. "Did you know that your dad cried when Grandpa died?"

Dixon was startled. "He did? I didn't think men cried."

"Of course they do," said Mom. "Jesus cried when He was on earth, and that means we all need to cry sometimes. Tears are like the disinfectant I put on those sore spots. Tears help us grieve and are an important part of the healing process." Dixon kept his eyes on his stinging palms. Mom put her hands on his shoulders. "God knows we hurt sometimes," she said. "We don't have to hide our hurt. You can cry--God gave us tears to help us. And Jesus tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. He understands what we're going through because He experienced pain and sadness too when He came to earth to save us. Wouldn't you like to tell Him right now about your stinging hands and knees--and about how much you miss your grandpa?"

Dixon nodded, and the tears began to flow.

-Barbara J. Westberg

How About You?
Do you refuse to cry when you're hurting? It's okay to cry--God gave you laughter and tears, and they're both a part of life. You don't have to act tough and pretend you're okay. Even Jesus cried, and He wants you to go to Him with all your hurts. He knows what it's like to feel pain and sadness, and He promises to comfort you. So don't hide your tears from Him. He cares for you and wants to help you.

Today's Key Verse:
Jesus wept. (NKJV) (John 11:35)

Today's Key Thought:
It's okay to cry