Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You are rejoiced over...

So I was on a long run early this morning...8 miles of a new route that I’ve driven a thousand times but feels so different with your feet. Headphones were plugged into the Shuffle and I’m running to the rhythm of the music. I ran past a church and the sign outside says “He rejoices over you with singing.” I am not sure why, but that phrase can just about drop me to my knees every time I read it. Really? He’s REJOICING over ME? It gets me every time. A friend once sent the scripture to me (and it made me cry) and I have it taped to the inside of my notebook...

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 (NLT)

And then I chuckle to myself. Who wants to rejoice over me? I’m nothing special. I’m not glamorous. I’m not rich. I prefer flip flops and running shoes to high heels. I don't have any special talents. But He rejoices over me anyway. In spite of everything.

There’s been a lot of challenges lately. Sometimes I feel like I am about to fall into an abyss and there’s nothing to grab on to. It’s like those bad falling dreams everybody talks about...and I wake up with my teeth tightly clenched but without ever really hitting the bottom. Am I strong enough to keep myself from falling all the way in? Whose hand can I grab on to for strength? Am I making the right decisions? Why am I the one that has to be in the hot seat and make them? Why do I always have to be the strong one? What do I do when that anger almost bubbles over....when I feel like I can’t keep the lid on it anymore? How do I stop the tears from flowing when certain songs play on the iPod that bring memories flooding back?

The answer, of course, is prayer and God. Praying A LOT. Praying when I’m running. Praying when I’m driving. Praying when I’m working. Praying when I wake and before I go to sleep. ASKING for God’s love and peace to envelop me and calm my fears.

I read a book many years back about a woman who “died” at the hospital and had an out-of-body experience. She was in the presence of God and she said His love was so overwhelming, it was almost indescribable...it just bubbled out of everywhere it was so overwhelming. It couldn’t be contained.

Wow. Can you imagine that? There should never be a question mark on this one. He loves me so much that there’s no way it can be measured in human terms. God’s hand is the hand that grabs me and keeps me from falling. He’s the one that wraps His arms around me and pats me on the back and tells me to keep on going. He rejoices over me. And loves me. And comforts me. He gives me unimaginable strength.

Thank you Lord, for rejoicing over me.

~ Marybeth