I know, I know. This blog is all about confessions of a real mom, but I can not keep from sharing this:
God is BURSTING with emotion when He looks at you.
I think He doesn't know whether to laugh or cry, so He just rejoices over you with singing. I mean, is that not the craziest, most exciting thing? If you are not bursting with emotion right now, seriously, stop and ponder this for a second.
The God of the Universe, the "Mighty Warrior who saves," the Almighty Judge, yes, the very One many of us picture seated on His throne with a scowl, is also the one that "is WITH you, takes great delight in you, quiets you with His love, and REJOICES over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17). Lose the scowl.
I'm smiling and tearing up even now. He takes great delight in ME! He takes great delight in YOU!
The realization hit me anew--and personally--Sunday while I was worshiping with my church family. Occasionally we take our kiddos with us into the worship service. My big girl has recently admitted to me that she thinks it is boring, which makes me smile because I once shared her sentiments.
I can still remember sitting with my mom in worship services when I was a little girl. I would draw on the visitor information cards, dig through whatever goodies she may have in her purse, or lay my head in her lap while she rubbed my arm and back. And listen to her sing. I always wondered why she didn't sing in the choir; my momma has a beautiful voice. I finally asked her one time why she didn't, and as always, it had something to do with her babes: she wanted to sit with us. I never understood this until I had my own beauties. Now there is little I love as much as sitting all together as a family and worshiping.
I love to sing and am even a bit jealous of the choir sometimes when they are "singin' and swingin' and gettin' merry like Christmas" (a book worth reading if you haven't), but our music minister expects volunteers to be committed and consistent (understandable), and I'm not willing to give up sitting and worshiping with my entire family, even if just on occasion. So forgive me if you see me singin' and swingin' and gettin' merry right in the pew when the choir breaks out in a good old gospel song like "Can He, Could He, Would He?" I'm just rejoicing over my God who can, could, would...and did!
And, if we can't sit still when we hear music in its earthly, less-than-perfect state, why do we imagine that God and His angels stand still when heavenly music is swelling? God is not boring. Nor is God bored. Putting all heavenly activities aside, I believe we here on earth offer Him plenty of entertainment. I mean, think about it. We love watching our kids, right? They make us smile, cry, and even rejoice!
Sunday, as my pastor was sharing about hope, I looked over at my girls squished together on their daddy's lap and...for the first time I understood the saying, "I thought I was going to burst!" My emotions were so full I thought I might laugh right out loud in the quiet of the sanctuary. I somehow managed to keep that laughter down but tears filled my eyes and a smile stretched across my face. I wanted to hug 'em to pieces and smother them in kisses. And when they crawled back into my lap that's just what I did.
Then it hit me, that's how God feels about me. He looks at me and smiles and tears up and sings for joy while He wraps me up in universe-sized hugs! Like the sun that shines right onto my deck, onto my chair, and into my face each morning, or the rainbow that stretches over my house after a storm, or the baby-blue butterfly that flies all around me before coming to land right on my thumb!
Those are the "hugs and kisses" I can see and feel, but what I can't see is even more amazing. The King of the Universe, the One we picture seated regally on His throne, is REJOICING over me with JOY. If your idea of rejoicing with joy only includes smiling, nodding, and generally being glad, you need to shake those thoughts away. The Hebrew word for rejoice (siys) "is a verb that indicates great rejoicing and jubilant celebration" (see footnote). The Hebrew word for joy (simhah) "refers to the reality, the experience and manifestation of joy and gladness. It refers to a celebration of something with joyful and cheerful activities" (see footnote).
Have you ever sang with glee, danced in your seat, raised your hands in excitement, shrieked or laughed with pleasure? Those are manifestations of joy. But what do we do when we celebrate? What are cheerful activities? I think of dancing, singing, and having a full-blown party. And I don't think imagining God doing these "cheerful activities" is a stretch at all since we see evidence of a heavenly party in Revelation (the wedding supper of the Lamb, chapter 19).
God is singin' and swingin' and gettin' merry like Christmas when He looks at me.
God is singin' and swingin' and gettin' merry like Christmas when He looks at YOU!
He might be seated on His throne, but He is not sitting still.
I hope that makes you want to rejoice!
"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God." (Isaiah 61:10)
Forgive me, for I have forgotten all the MLA citation rules, but I think this will supply all pertinent information for the book I cited above:
The Complete Word Study Dictionary by Warren Baker, D.R.E. and Eugene Carpenter, Ph.D.
AMG Publishers, 2003