Better than a BOGO + triple manufacturer’s coupon + store coupon combo … Better than a designer “hand-me-down” in your exact size, WITH tags still on it … Even better than winning an all-expenses-paid vacation to the most gorgeous place on earth …
The everlasting God, our heavenly Father, is in the business of taking your broken stuff and giving you eternally beautiful things in return. You bring Him your sorrow and He gives you back joy. You bring Him the ashes of a life gone up in flames, and He gives you your life back intact, with glints of gold and precious gems adorning it. You bring Him blindness and He gives you sight. You bring your shame and He trades it for honor. You bring Him your emptiness, and suddenly you find yourself full. (Isaiah 61, Psalm 30:11)
Getting something for nothing is a really sweet deal; but getting something exquisitely beautiful in exchange for something ruined, broken or wasted is almost too good to be true. It would be, except that our God is passionately in love with you. Love changes everything. God’s great love is what overcame the curse of sin. Because God loved you so much, Jesus willingly endured brutality, agony and death to win your heart. He is a relentless pursuer!
Have you ever felt the wooziness of love? When you are in love, your face beams with excitement at the thought of that person. Your heart flutters and you leap outside of yourself to show the world just how much you adore him. God is like that, too, just on a more infinite scale! This is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible that gives us a glimpse into God’s love:
“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
God does the happy dance when you come into His presence! While you hurriedly begin to tell Him all the problems in your life and confess all the things you have done wrong, He puts His finger to your lips to quiet you. You feel the ease of being next to Him. He starts up a song and draws you close so He can waltz around the room with you. He sings every word into your ear as He leans His face up against yours. He loves you that much.
Dennis Jernigan, a songwriter and worship leader who has blessed the Church with many familiar songs over the years, has written his own interpretation of Zephaniah 3:17. I think he opens it up in a truly wonderful way:
The Eternal, self-existent God
The God who is three in one
He who dwells in the center of your being
Is a powerful, valiant warrior
He is come to set you free
To keep you safe
And to bring you victory.
He is cheered
And He beams with exceeding joy
And takes pleasure in your presence
He has engraved a place
For Himself in you
And there He quietly rests
In His love and affection for you.
He cannot contain Himself at the thought of you
And with the greatest of joy
Spins around wildly
In anticipation over you
And has placed you above all other creations
And in the highest place in His priorities
In fact, he shouts and sings in triumph
Joyfully proclaiming the gladness of His heart
In a song of rejoicing…
All because of YOU!!
God’s crazy, wild, passionate love for you is what drives His actions. When you come to God with empty hands, He will fill them. He waits with bated breath for you to sit down and have a conversation with Him. He will never berate you or condemn you, only infuse you with His character. He is not waiting to catch you doing something wrong. He is not keeping a tally of good deeds versus bad deeds. When He looks at you, He sees His beautiful girl, hidden in Christ. You are blameless, spotless and precious. You melt His heart.
God is highly skilled at restoring and healing. He takes your mess and gives you a masterpiece in its place. He really wants to do that for you. All you have to do is let go of what is in your hand. Let go of the brokenness and the pain you have carried far too long. Let go of the disappointment and the sorrow. It’s time to be done with those things and trade them in for God’s goodness in your life. If you are ready for the most amazing deal of your life, pray this with me:
Lord, I am bringing you my ________________________. I am done with it. I give it all to You and ask that you give me back Your goodness in its place. Revive me, fill me, and heal me, Lord. I love You, and I want to waltz with You today.