woman and daughter smiling at camera
Dianne Jacobsen
Discipleship Director
October 13, 2020

One Sunday morning when I was a young mother, I took my one-year-old daughter to the church nursery for the first time. I headed to the nursery after the service ended. Someone stopped me along the way to ask me a question. By the time I arrived in the nursery, the room was crowded with parents picking up their children. 

I wound my way through the crowd searching for my daughter. I finally found her amid a sea of adult legs. She looked at me with terror in her eyes and tears rolling down her cheeks. That was the day I became acquainted with my daughter’s silent cry. It was not until I picked her up in my arms that she cried out loud.

Many parents will tell you that they can decipher their children’s cries by listening carefully and feeling deeply.

This might look like:

  • A whimper is a cry of slight unhappiness, hunger, or sleepiness that responds quickly to comfort. 
  • A shriek is a loud and forceful cry for attention that may be caused by pain or alarm. 
  • A whiny cry can stem from hunger or fever. 
  • A temper-tantrum cry can result from a high level of frustration. Often it does not respond to comfort and may merely need to run its course. 
  • A normal cry that often seems to be caused by any of a million unknown possibilities, including overstimulation, boredom, and anything in between. 
  • A silent cry of fear that, in my daughter’s case, stemmed from overwhelming terror. 

Does God Hear us cry?

As a mother and grandmother, I have heard all of these various cries. 

Some can cause concern or even alarm. Others got on my last nerve. Did I always get it right? Absolutely not!

I have loved my children and grandchildren from the moment they were born. They learned to love and trust me as we spent time together, talked together, laughed with one another, and forgave one another. 

That’s how it is with God, too. 

He has always loved us. We learn to love and trust Him as we get to know Him as He speaks to us in the Bible, as we talk to Him, in prayer, and as we learn to lean on Him for comfort and care in the struggles of life.

God is always there for us with an open heart.

Loving parents hear their children’s cries and respond with loving care and comfort. Our God is a loving parent to all who call Him Father. We can be thankful that He is not deafened by the sheer volume of our human cries during this moment in history. He does not close His ears to our cries.  

How God Listens

God listens to our cries, and he can decipher between our different types. What does God’s Word say about how he hears our prayers and cries for help? 

  • God invites us to communicate with Him.

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalm 50:15

  • God promises to hear our cries. He never grows impatient with us in our need.

“Then you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, here I am.” Isaiah 58:9a 

  • God helps us when we don’t even know what to say to Him.

“…[God] helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26

God Hears You

God hears us whimper, shriek, cry, and whine. He even hears our temper tantrums and silent cries. He hears our cries of unhappiness, pain, frustration, exhaustion, and fear. 

We can be honest with Him. His listening ear is always open to our prayers. His loving heart wants to embrace us as we cry on His shoulder. 

He is a good, good heavenly Father!

As for my daughter, she is now a devoted mother of four. Thankfully, the nursery episode did not permanently scar her. In fact, she is a sensitive, perceptive mother who feels her children’s joy and sadness deeply. She has ears that are open to her children’s cries and a heart that freely offers loving comfort. 

She is a good, good mother!