For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that last week, on our annual beach vacation to South Carolina, I found myself alone at Starbucks.
This was a carefully crafted escape from sandy children and the muggy humidity of the island. My husband, J.. who is always supportive of time away for La Mama, shooed me out of the condo. I fled happily. First, I made a little stop at a place called Lovable Nails and got a quick mani. Then, it was off to Starbucks, hands carefully splayed on the steering wheel so as not to smudge my glossy OPI polish.
I am such a Bible study nerd that I had printed out three devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries before we left Colorado. At Starbucks, I settled in with one of the devotions and my little pink travel Bible that really should be illegal because it is just so darned cute.
This day, I picked Lysa TerKeurst’s devotion from June 10, 2010: “Desperate for Reassurance.” On a side note, I love me some Lysa TerKeurst. I first found her writing in a Publix in Atlanta. If you know Publix, then you know that I am talking about the religious books display that is inherent in all Southern grocery stores. On a more side side note, I love me some Publix. While vacationing, I made sure to pick up two fresh-filled cannolis. I did not share.
Unless your hands are broken, you need to read this devotion of Lysa’s. It kills. In a good way. You can find it here. I won’t summarize, but I will tell you the part that leaped off the page for me. Lysa cites Zephaniah 3:17. “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.”
Iced Americano in hand, I read those verses on the Starbucks’ patio. Vacationers like myself drove into the shopping complex; a Realtor at the next table nervously tapped out calls on her iPhone. But I only had ears for these words.
Delight? In me?
Earlier in the day, I had experienced spasms of joy watching my children dance in the public fountain jets near the beach. I thrilled at their strong, tanned legs (yes! even with layers of 50,000 SPF) taking them up and down the sand. My heart swelled when I glanced over at my husband and I caught the love in his eyes for his family.
In other words, I delighted in my children. I delighted in J.
God, do you mean you feel delight when you look upon me because I am one of your children?
And then my mind moved to the things of anxiety in my life. What of this? And this?
Quiet me? Lysa writes the Spirit of God is a “blanket of his His presence and His protection.” On the Starbucks patio, I wrapped myself up in that Spirit blanket. I basked in it.
But the last part of the verse gave me pause. I could not imagine the God of the Universe singing over me. Surely, the verse should be the other way around, right?
God, in His loving way, sometimes makes us wait years for answers. Sometimes, mere minutes. My answer about singing came later in the evening. I held my youngest, just 20 months old, in my arms. She was a bit wriggly but consented to let me bury my face on the top of her head and breathe in her lovely babyness. The air conditioning in the vacation condo kept the room chilled and the two of us rested for a moment. In the way all mothers and fathers do, I soon was gently rocking my babe. A soft song, the kind you could never ever remember again, bubbled up and out of my mouth. My little sweet babe sighed into my arms.
And then I knew. The love I had for my child (me! A wretched and redeemed sinner!) rose up from the deepest heart of love. A place where my heart is knitted together with the expert stitches of the Master. I sing because I love. He sings over me, because he IS love. If I, who is so mortal and so needy, can rejoice with singing over my child, how much more will the God who calls me His own?