The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
~ Zephaniah 3:17
I picked this verse this week because one, it was referenced in half of the workshops I took over the weekend, and second, well, I need it.
When I read verses like this I feel like they are good to have in my memory bank for when the big stuff comes. However, I have recently really started to see how these "storms of life" verses apply to the day to day life we live as well.
"The Lord God is with you, he is mighty to save".
How wonderful to be able to remember this when you are frustrated with your children, or feel slighted by your husband, or let down by your friends.
It's times like that when you make little mistakes that could have big repercussions. You overreact in your punishment of your kids and then the whole family has to live with it (we have lost many weekends of fun because I didn't stop to consider the big picture and allow the molehill stay a molehill) , your bitter words to your spouse cause damage and heartache, or your response to a friend's action causes distance and hurt.
What if we remember that God is with us and allow him to save us from all of this junk in our relationships? A few minutes getting God's direction will have long term and lasting rewards in our relationships, instead of our snap human response tearing them down.
"He will take great delight in you"
We are still stuck in the belief that God expects the grand gesture every day to prove our love and commitment to him. How wrong we are! God delights in every right choice, every instant of compassion shown, and every struggle that we take another step out of. Of course he wants us to stop and help the jobless man on the corner, serve at the homeless shelter, donate our money to worthy and compassionate causes and preach the Gospel whenever we can. He wants us to finally lay down that addiction and give it to him completely, to respond naturally with compassion and love in every situation, and to proclaim our testimony of it all.
He delights when we remember to hold our tongue instead of yelling at our children. When we stop ourselves from going back for that second helping at the dinner table. When we pass by the sale rack without even looking. When we dedicate that few moments of free time to reading our Bible instead of playing video games or watching TV. When we take a deep breath and ask the question that will push our relationship with someone else past the superficial and into the area where true growth in God happens. It's not always about the giant leaps (although they are important and should be taken when God gives us the opportunity). It's also about the little steps that seem so hard to commit to, to stick with, and to push past. He delights in us whenever we strive to glorify him, no matter what we do.
"He will quiet you with his love"
Have you ever had a day that just seems to be full of "little things"?
The kids were hard to get up and ready for school. You are stuck behind someone going below the speed limit or are cut off in traffic. You didn't get to get all of your errands done before the baby needed to go home for a nap. You realize that there is never going to be an end to the laundry, and it seems like your stuff is always the last to get washed. You stub your toe on just one more thing that was left out instead of put away. At 10:00 pm you are still looking at the dishes from dinner that didn't magically get washed and put away. Little things. But as they come along they grow in your heart a frustration and dissatisfaction with where you are in your life. These things can just keep building pressure in you until you blow. Then you have a lot of damage control to handle. What if we look to God when a "little thing" pops up? Allow him to quiet our thoughts and frustrations with his love? He wants to be a part of ALL of our life. Not just the big stuff that we know we need him to take, but for the little stuff that we think we can handle on our own.
"He will rejoice over you with singing"
We as parents rejoice over every smile, hand clap and step our child takes. Every right decision, every moment of perseverance, every time their Godly character takes them against the flow. How can we think that God does anything less with us? When we take a stand for God against popular opinion he rejoices. When we quietly open our Bible to correct our child instead of yelling, God rejoices. When we give God the victory over our habits and addictions, he rejoices. When we sit down and quietly tell him about our fears and joys, he rejoices.
How wonderful to know that God, the creator of the universe, rejoices over you with singing when you come to him in weakness, in joy, in pain, and in celebration. Nothing is too small for God to rejoice over. He loves us more than we can ever fathom!
As I strive to understand this scripture in my life, I feel more and more drawn to learning more about God and what he wants for my life.