Thursday, June 6, 2013

Breaking Into Delight

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Saturday morning is family time for us.  Unless my husband has duty, we get to do a little sleeping in.  We get to have coffee together - all of us - my husband, my daughter, and me.  We catch up on the week; we discuss weekend plans.  We decide on our upcoming meals and menus and put together a shopping list.  Mundane, ordinary, comforting.  

We are a military family.  My husband is a soldier.  That means a lot of different things in our home.  It means wake-up at 3:30 AM.  It means physical conditioning.  It means long days and phone calls in the middle of the night; it means brief kisses and hurried meals.  It means a closet full of gear and a closet full of uniforms - all hanging and organized in neat rows of digital camouflage and army green.  It means deployment - skype, email, text messages.  Expectations.  Being Army Strong.

Saturday is grocery-shopping day.  That means a trip to the commissary on post.  That means ID cards, and going through the gate.  That means guards - serious soldiers in uniform checking those IDs.  It also means my daughter, in the passenger seat with a grocery list on a clipboard.  Smiling.  And waving.  Reminding me to get my ID ready.  Waving at the guards - who peer through the open window and break unexpectedly out of seriousness and into delight.  

She does it everywhere we go - on post and off post.  She charms people.  Tough, worldly, burly people.  Rank doesn't matter.   Size doesn't matter.  Race doesn't matter.  She smiles and they melt.  It's a visible reaction.  

So, imagine God, the Mighty Warrior, taking delight in us.  What a concept.  The strong melting for the weak.  Our soldiers are trained in war.  They are expected to exemplify army values - loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.  If our soldiers, how much more a Warrior God?   Do you picture strength?  Do you see a defender?  Do you see the upright posture, the confidence, the leadership?  Now snapshot a child into that picture.  The Warrior God bends, reaching out a hand, leaning in to listen, smiling, nodding.  The Warrior God delighting in his children - in his family.   

Like the guards at the gate - leaning into the window to share my daughter's joy.  The strong rejoicing with the weak.  It's an amazing thought - our Warrior God takes great delight in us;  He rejoices over us with singing.  He sings for us!  

Heavenly Father, thank you for your strength, your watchfulness, your devotion - thank you for your delight - even in our weakness.  Thank you for showing us the tender side of your warrior nature.  Thank you for your love.

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