My favorite verse in the Bible is Zephaniah 3:17. It says, “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.”
Have you ever been with someone you really love – be it a spouse or a dear friend – and you so enjoy being together that you are just quiet…no words are spoken, or need to be, it is just companionable silence? Those are rare, but beautiful moments. I have a friend who loves to sit on my porch with me. Most of the time we talk, but occasionally we just sit and look at the birds or the bunnies playing in the yard and enjoy being quiet together. There aren’t any uncomfortable lulls, we are happy just being in the same place and we don’t feel the need to necessarily fill every second with conversation. God’s love is so amazing and we can feel so completely loved and comfortable with him that we are able to simply be quiet. The noise and chaos of the world is not prevalent. There have been occasions when in the midst of a time in my life that was particularly chaotic or difficult I have felt peaceful and quiet within my heart. I never felt that when I wasn’t walking closely with the Lord, but when I am in step with him, there is a peace that is hard to express. His love can quiet my soul.
In all your special and moving moments with loved ones, has anyone ever sung over you? I remember putting my children to bed, or holding them in my arms, sitting in the rocking chair and singing them my favorite lullaby. I had one in particular that I sang to both of my girls. I was completely enraptured with their beautiful little faces and pure souls, and I sang over them. It felt magical.
I have a dear friend who is a singer/songwriter. In the midst of the most painful time in my life, she wrote a song for me about hanging on to God and continually believing in his faithfulness, even in the midst of turmoil and hurt. It was undoubtedly the most special gift I’ve ever received. She has sung it for me several times, but one time in particular, we were in a large room where she would later be performing, with this amazing beautiful grand piano. She sang the song to me, choking up – and eyes filling with tears…and I was equally moved and felt very loved. That was her hope, I believe, when she wrote the song – that I would feel special and my soul encouraged to remain faithful.
My Father is perfect. He has created the universe and all that lives, breathes and is around me, and yet this verse in Zephaniah says that he saves me, sings over me, takes delight in me and rejoices over me! This isn’t the sweet comfort of companionship, a mother moved by her newborn, or a friend singing to give encouragement – this is the Lord of ALL delighting, creating stillness and rejoicing over me! That, my friends, is what unconditional love feels and looks like.