I'm reading through all the minor prophets in the Bible right now. Most of them are God's message of destruction to those people and nations that have consistently rejected Him, abused justice, and chosen a path of evil instead of righteousness. I LOVE that God is just and will set all things right. But chapter after chapter of destruction leaves me scratching my head and asking, "Is there a life application point to today's reading?"
In the middle of all of this is the tiny book of Zephaniah. In chapter three, verse nine it says,
"Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and
serve Him shoulder to shoulder."
I love the imagery of being shoulder to shoulder in our efforts to serve God. Brushed up against each other, taking support from others, giving support to those who need it. One massive people group working together for a common cause. It's beautiful.
Friends - we NEED each other. Are we wasting time and energy divided over irrelevant things? Harboring bitterness or anger for things that should be long forgotten and forgiven? Let's join together, shoulder to shoulder, and move forward.
Later in the same chapter is this beautiful verse (seventeen).
"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."
WOW! God delights in me? He quiets me with His love? He rejoices over me with singing? I've read this verse so many times and it still takes my breath away. The irony and beauty overwhelm me.
One of the ways I feel God rejoice over me with singing is by being outside. It's the number one reason why I love running so much. He is so creative and His beauty is everywhere.
He rejoices over me with singing in the rain that pools on the flowering trees.
He rejoices over me with singing in the lush, temporary carpet of a magnolia tree in full bloom.
He rejoices over me with singing in the crazy Oregon spring weather - sunshine, fierce storm clouds, and blustering winds co-existing at the same time.
He rejoices over me with singing with surprises like this row of blossoming trees inviting me to stop in the pouring rain and snap a picture.
He rejoices over me with singing with stunning mountains and valleys,
and trains that drive through tunnels carved out of the mountainside.
He rejoices over me with singing with healthy, incredible children, a breeze to tickle my face,
and a family that brings laughter, delight, and deep satisfaction to my soul.
How is God rejoicing over you today my Friend? Won't you pause to reflect on the detailed and intimate ways that He loves you and rejoices over you?