For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
- Zephaniah 3:17
We were privileged this year to have spent Father’s Day with my dad and youngest brother. It was a sunny winter’s morning, so we opted for breakfast at a venue with a lush green lawn and a play area outside for the little ones.
I’ve had the above Scripture in the back of my head for quite a few days but didn’t quite know what to make of it. I knew that it was true and that God loves me and rejoices over me even if I feel like a failure, but it never had deeper meaning.
As I sat there drinking my coffee and watching my husband and brother play with their little daughters on the playground I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion when it dawned on me; that is how the Lord is rejoicing in me as well – His little girl!
The girls aren’t scared of the big slide, because Daddy is there to calm their fears. They believe with all their hearts that Daddy is mighty and will be there to catch them. The dads were loving spending time with their daughters, laughing when they laughed, singing silly songs.
For the Lord my Heavenly Father is living here on earth with me. He is my mighty super-warrior that walks on the playground with me every day. He delights in me and He loves spending time with me. Just knowing that He is near, calms my fears. He catches me, He hugs me and holds me close in warm embrace. He sings with me, He rejoices over me.
And should I veer off in the wrong direction, He will come looking for me and He will rejoice over His missing lamb that has returned.
Luke 15 tells about the shepherd leaving his flock behind to go find his one missing sheep: “And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’” Luke 15:5-6
Now I was fortunate to have grown up with a caring, hard-working dad who, even now still, truly models the love of God to his children and grandchildren and who has fetched the missing ones to bring them home.
But there are so many growing up without fathers or with fathers that have hurt them, making it so difficult to accept the fact that there is this ever-loving Being that just wants to hold you, comfort you, and protect you. So many of us feel so poorly about ourselves or things that we have done, that we can’t imagine someone else being proud of us or rejoicing over us.
I want you to go to the park, go find that daddy that’s helping his girl on the jungle gym or teaching his daughter to ride a bike. Imagine that you are that little girl. God loves you and rejoices over you even a thousand times more than that. And every time you see a father with his children, remind yourself of that. Until you start believing it, until you start to feel His love and comfort.
Even if you had the perfect earthly father but you forgot what it feels like to be loved and cherished and rejoiced over like when you were a little girl, I invite you to do the same.
1. How do we model God’s love to the children in our lives? You don’t have to be someone’s parent to show them God’s love. Remember that you might be the only one modeling God’s love to that child.
2. Listen to the song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury and let the words sink in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc6SSHuZvQE
Father, It is so difficult for us as humans to understand Your love. When we have such low self-esteem or we are ridden with guilt, Lord, when we have been let down by people here on earth, we can’t comprehend that there is Someone who rejoices over our mere being. Holy Spirit, help us to feel that overwhelming love and help us to accept it as the one and only true love.
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