Have you noticed that when you’re extremely stressed or tired, it’s easy to end up laughing hysterically or crying? I think it’s a brilliant move on Jesus’ part because both those things offer release. When we get wound up so tight, we need something as simple as laughter or crying to get us out of our corkscrew and loosey-goosey again. We usually need that more than we need our circumstances to change. Sometimes, we’re suddenly able to change our circumstances because a calm mind is better at problem solving.

Have you noticed how when you feel fed up with something or overwhelmed, you sigh? This is another physical response that literally resets us. If stress makes our breathing unnaturally regulated (or nonexistent if you hold your breath) a sigh will get things back on track and provide you with physical and psychological relief.* People on mechanical ventilators feel better if a sigh style of breath is included in their breathing regime. Isn’t that fascinating?

What I get from all this is, Jesus knew we’d be stressed. He put physical responses in place to help us release the it or rebound from it. So rather than thinking, “I shouldn’t be crying about this. This is silly,” remember, it’s just what the Creator ordered—a good cry to help you keep moving forward. When I hear people praise kids for not crying, it’s all I can do not to say, “Jesus cried. You still think it’s a sign of weakness?”

What some call signs of weakness may actually be signs of LIFE. Signs that we are HUMAN and AFECTED by the world around us. And when it gets to be too much, let the tears come, let the giggles take over, or blow your air out in a big sigh, knowing Jesus loves you.