On Tuesday morning I was scheduled to give the opening at the McLean class of Community Bible Study. Of course, my son Sam woke up puking and Will was out of town (I think there’s a 95.5% incidence of family illness when a spouse is out of town. Have you also experienced this phenomenon?). Anyway I had to call a friend. How’d you like to get that call?
“Good morning, hey, what do you have going on today? Would you by chance like to come sit with my little Pukey?”
I am so blessed that my sweet friend, Lori, agreed to come by. And I am happy to report that Sam was not actively sick while she was here, and even fell asleep on the couch.
An “opening” is just a ten minute talk before the lecture portion of the morning, and I have spoken to this class three times now. The first time I talked about losing my dad and my brother and the sufficiency of God’s grace (2 Corinthians 12:9). The second time I talked about the blessing of being a children’s leader. On Tuesday I spoke about what I consider to be “my verse” for this season of life.
It is Zephaniah 3:17, which says: “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.”
Because what woman doesn’t need to be delighted over? And I need to be quieted by His love. And I am incredibly humbled and incredibly grateful that my God rejoices over me with singing, especially since one of my gifts is an uncanny ability to make things complicated and embarrassing.
Last month I went to a leadership conference at my church. I had signed up for the whole day and paid for lunch and dinner. Of course, when the day came, Will was tied up at work, the boys had a birthday party after school, and our small group was getting together. So instead of attending the whole-day conference, I went for two hours. On my way out they were setting up for lunch, and so I showed my little badge and grabbed a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. I ate my sandwich on the way to pick Sam up from preschool. I was almost to his school, when I noticed that I had not taken one paper plate for my sandwich, not two, not ten, but an entire stack, probably about 150 thick. How I could possibly have done this remains a mystery. I almost wonder if I took every paper plate they had.
Yet, even in that moment, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings delights over me. Even when I misplace my keys for the millionth time, or leave my cell phone in another bathroom, or drop my wallet in the middle of the mall, my God rejoices over me with singing. Even when my patience runs dry and the “other mother” rears her hideous head, the Lord my God is with me. He is still mighty to save. He still quiets me with His love.
Of course, I could never ever earn this adoration. We live under a grace-based system that has nothing whatsoever to do with merit. God rejoices, quiets and delights because of who He is. I am so thankful for this truth, aren’t you?
So maybe you don’t do embarrassing things like I do, maybe you even know where your wallet, your keys and your cell phone are at all times. But whether you have the gift for embarrassment or not, the fact remains:
“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.”
To quote my beloved Holly Leachman, “IS THAT JUST THE BEST?”