The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

 The sense of euphoria sweeping through me was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. My sweet baby girl, Jamie, born minutes before, was skin to skin on my chest. I felt a tidal wave of love wash over me, filling my heart to overflowing.  The presence of the Holy Spirit in the room was strong. It took my breath away. Is this the kind of love I’d read about so often of God for His people?  Whatever it was, I wanted more.

The image of God rejoicing over me with gladness and singing from the words of Zephaniah had new impact as I basked in the purest love I’d ever known. It became real in my life as I gazed down at my baby in her bassinet and “rejoiced over her with gladness”. I had an urgent need to protect and comfort her. I sang thanks to God for she was the most spectacular gift I’d ever received. This lavish love is exactly how God loves and delights in us.

You’d think knowing we are the recipients of such extravagant love would keep us filled up to overflowing. Unfortunately, we are leaky buckets. There are holes in our souls that leak out truth and allow lies to seep in and rob us of the deep security of our Father’s unchanging love. No matter how much we doubt or run, His love never falters.

As the years and decades rolled by after Jamie’s birth, we faced many ups and downs. During her late teens and early twenties, she went through a rebellious phase. I worried about her safety and future, feeling the anguish of having no control to change things. My love for her never faltered.

It pained me to resort to tough love during the years when she made dangerous choices. I began to understand another aspect of God’s love from Proverbs 3:12:  “He disciplines those He loves“. With a breaking heart, I knew I had to say, “No”, when she asked me to bail her out of jail for drug trafficking. My love for her never faltered.

We all grieve the Lord because of sinful choices or selfish behavior. Out of pure rebellion or guilt, we often pull away from the One who loves us most. He patiently and expectantly waits. He never imposes His will upon ours. When we finally surrender our will to His, He is right there – because He never moved. Once again, we’re able enjoy our intimate connection. God taught me how to do the same in my relationship with Jamie.

In your darkest days, feeling lost and unsure, don’t run from God! Run toward Him. See Him rejoice and sing over you. See him quiet you by His love. Receive that love. Not because you deserve it. But because He desires to lavishly give it.

Dear sister, regardless of your actions, you are a cherished child of the King. This is your identity. See yourself living victoriously in His power as He rejoices over you with gladness.

Lord, thank you for reminding me how much you love me despite my behavior. Please help me to remember this throughout my day as I face off my insecurities and frustrations with myself. I know Your Spirit lives within me. I surrender my will to yours knowing how much you love me means you always want the best for me. Amen.