Day 11

Tears of Deliverance

from the Tears of Deliverance reading plan

Esther 8, Psalm 147

BY Annie Downs

I don’t like to talk about crying.

Here’s the thing. I feel like I cry too much. I don’t know who set that mark for me, the mark that says “this amount of crying is allowed, but THIS is too much.”

But I worry it’s too much.

I just FEEL so many things. And when I feel, I cry.

As for the poor souls who have to deal with my crying, they are almost certainly confused by it. But for me, personally—I know what my tears are saying.

Sometimes, they are saying I am tired. (But also, dear friend, let’s quit using that as a coverup for our emotions. Just a thought. Moving on…)

Sometimes, my tears tell me what hurts.

Sometimes, my tears are because I’m angry.

But a lot of times, my tears tell me what matters.

Author Emily P. Freeman says to listen to your tears—instead of feeling ashamed of them—because they tell you where your heart is:

“Tears are tiny messengers sent from the deepest part of who we are. They whisper – here is where your heart beats strong. This is a hint as to what makes you come alive.”

When I look at this moment when Esther approached the king, I wonder if she knew how much that conversation mattered to her before she began to cry. Or, did her tears do for her what they do for me? Did they indicate to her how deeply her heart was affected?

Sure, there was fear (What if the King gets angry and kills me?), but more than that, I think she may have realized right there in that moment that God had done a deep work in her heart on behalf of her people.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that she was telling Mordecai she surely wasn’t the right gal for the job. And now here she is, weeping it says, concerned for the Jewish people.

Esther cried because her heart was moved. According to what we know in Scripture, Esther made the obedient choice first, and then her heart followed. And it followed in a way that most women can relate to—in tears. Her heart followed her into a moment that required courage, knelt down with her in front of the King, and spoke through her tears.

Esther wasn’t ashamed of her tears, at least as far as we know in the Bible. She wept. Openly. She wasn’t afraid of what her heart needed to express because she believed that God had made her on purpose, for THIS purpose.

Maybe instead of feeling embarrassed by my tears, I should start to trust them. Maybe my heart needs more permission to speak. Maybe my tears are signals to me of what matters most. Maybe teary moments on behalf of others is exactly what God uses to soften hearts. Just like an old dried out sponge, nothing brings softness and usability like a little water.

Jesus cried because He trusted what moved His heart. He cried when Lazarus died because pain and death and loss matter. And it is Jesus’s favor before God that gives us permission to do the same—permission to have soft hearts that speak up for others.

When she let her heart speak, when she wasn’t afraid of her tears, when she wasn’t ashamed to feel, Esther helped rescue her people.

Freedom came at the cost of her tears.

I don’t ever want to forget that.


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Post Comments (112)

112 thoughts on "Tears of Deliverance"

  1. Chelsea says:

    I think the fact that Esther had been fasting adds a huge element to her sensitivity to have God’s heart for His people. Fasting puts everything in God’s hands by saying, “I need You, God.” It makes us physically and emotionally weak so God shines more brightly through us. What a battle rages in me about food. But God is more powerful! The more we seek Him, the more we find Him. And He will be glorified.

  2. SuzyQ says:

    Myself, I don’t cry often, but when I do…oh lawd.
    I am struck by the journey God took Esther on. She went from doubting that she could do anything to change the fate of the Jews, to a mighty woman filled with belief and faith in the power of the God of Israel! We get to see her heart change to: That God=Her God , using her, compelling her, favoring her! I am believing God to do the same in my heart and the hearts of HIS people! Spirit fill us and compel us to act on behalf of your beloved children. To even ugly cry, if it be Your desire!! So we can see Your hand, experience Your power, because your Will does not depend on my works….amen!

  3. Correy says:

    I was on the verge of tears before reading that. And the waterworks began half way through the devotional. Thank you for the reminder that our tears are the physical response of something much deeper below our surface. God places the cares and pains on my heart because he cares about them too. Thank you… Just thank you for this reminder. I don’t have to be ashamed of my constant crying for my women’s group in Africa or for my young girls in El Sal. My heart breaks for them and I weep constantly. I think this may be a sign of the Holy Spirit working instead of an overly sensitive person (which I call myself).

  4. Susan says:

    Notice that Esther cried at the kings feet, what a great example! Shouldn't we sit and cry at our King's feet? Giving Him our tender hearts, fears, sorrows, etc… instead of hiding our emotions or believing the lies from satan of hopelessness and despair.

    1. Chels says:

      Such a good point! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Laura says:

    I cried this morning– this makes me feel much better about it.

  6. Whitley Griffiths says:

    I loved this devotion. My mom always told me ” tears water the seeds that have been sown” some times crying allows your heart and head to understand what matters and that results in growth.

  7. Mary says:

    I love what she said about who decided what the threshold is for TOO much crying! God gave us emotions for a reason! Ask long as we don’t let our emotions control our actions, we’re good! Great devotion!

  8. Justine says:

    I am learning to be vulnerable to know it is ok to cry. I tear up in all emotions but hold them bad from rolling down my face and I am glad I read this. I am working on letting the go and this allows the thought of no to subside away.

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