Life Verse…

He Rejoices Over Me with Singing?

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

17 The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    He will quiet you with His love,
    He will rejoice over you with singing.”

This has become my life verse… well…. one of them, but certainly has been my favourite for some time now. This passage has so many promises, and comforts my heart in days of great battle and days of great joy. 

“He is with me,” that haunts my soul.  The idea of the God of the universe, being with me.  I often wonder why, and I often wonder how I could deserve the honor of Him standing beside me. I am not deserving and so full of flaws, but…. I am His creation and I chose to give Him my heart and my life. So, why am I surprised when “He is with me?”  A blessing, and a mystery and such great comfort. 

He is “the Mighty Warrior who saves.”  Not only is He with me, but He saves me?  This paints a vivid picture into my head. The ultimate knight on a white steed.  Sword in hand, shield deflecting darts and eyes ablaze for the honor of the one He defends (me?). Going before us into the battles of life, pain, sickness, cancer and death itself.  He was there before us, and is still with us. He prepared the way, before we set foot in it. He defeated foes we never saw.  Though we were never free of fighting in the battle as well. We still saw pain, though His battle insured comfort.  We still experienced sickness, His going before promised His great love would never leave us alone in it.  We still experienced cancer, an enemy we could never understand and surely we never defeated, but He fought there too and because He did we experienced the true meaning of hope and what it means to slow your life enough to value each day.  And hardest of all, we still experienced death, but He fought and defeated that enemy and because He is the Mighty Warrior, death has not defeated us.  We experienced death, and depths of pain and heart ache.  But Chris was a warrior, and death has no sting, Christ defeated that enemy because He went before us in battle.  Yes, it does mean I am without my soul mate and yes, it is hard, but I wonder in moments when I can feel this strength, that is definitely not my own, how much greater the pain of the loss would be if Chris had not asked Christ to be his “Mighty Warrior” to go before his every step. I would not have the promise, the hope of seeing him again one day.

He promises to “take great delight” in me. This is especially comforting, as I walk this journey without Chris at my side.  I am still trying to fully understand this.  But I think of Chris, and how delighted Jesus must have been to receive him in heaven.  And I wonder, as His creation, He must be be delighted when we make the decision to make Him our Warrior. It is so hard to wrap my mind arround the idea of our creator being delighted in me. I am just one simple human, a drop in the great sea of people on this planet, yet “He delights in me?”

When the world is screaming in my ears, all that I should do and be and think “He quiets me with His love.”  With me, saving me and loving me in such a way that my very soul is quieted.  His gifts are too big to fathom.  In the battles fray, in the depths of cancer, in the pain of grief, I have had these quiet moments.  Moments when the world stops racing, and shouting and the pain is eased.  When my eyes see beauty in the sunrise, instead of the ashes of yesterdays.  When my ears hear the thunder of Warrior’s steeds and clashes of His metal blade agaists the enemies feeble weapons, instead of the thoughts of being alone.  When my heart understands the broken places and will illuminate the love for a gentle Warrior.  Surely, “He quiets with His love.”

This beautiful passage, graven into my heart, has one more great promise. That “He rejoices over me with singing.” I think that singing is the ultimate expression of joy. Joy is not happiness, but sometimes happiness is a part of joy. Joy can fill our hearts, inspite of the heart ache.  He knows every hurt, and hurts for and with us. When we see, even small victories, how precious to know, He sings a song over us and cheers us on. I believe He also sings to comfort us. When I am standing in the sanctuary of my church home, I can think of nothing better then when I can sing.  And to think He sings too, and over me, like a blessing and comfort for my very soul.  How could I question that!?

Little did I know that six months later I’d be reading this again… with new eyes, old eyes and sad but joyful eyes. My life verse is still very special to where I am a today.

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