“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 song.” Zephaniah 3:17
I was reminded of this verse in the middle of the night. It was one of those nights when I kept waking up and then dozing off again. Each time I awoke I parted the blinds to have a look outside. In particular I wanted to see if our cat Blackie was home. The weather had promised to be cold; I couldn’t help but be concerned for Blackie. I had taken care to put a fleece in his bed along with a warming stone. A warming stone is amazing — just heat it in the microwave and it stays warm for twelve hours. I so wanted Blackie to get into his warm bed.
I peeked out the window several times; there was no sign of Blackie. Maybe he’s in his house, curled up and fast asleep, I told myself. Then, what do I see? Blackie coming out of his house. Hooray! He had been inside the warm! Now he was a little hungry so came out to jump on top of his house where his food bowl lives. There he was munching away.
As I watched Blackie, I could feel the corners of my mouth lift into a smile. What a delight to watch Blackie, to see that he was okay, that he had food to eat and a warm bed to sleep in. It gave me such pleasure. That’s when the above verse came to me. If I take such delight in knowing that Blackie the cat is safe and well, how much more does our heavenly Father take delight in us?
Our Father loves us so very much! That’s why He delights to provide for our needs, and takes great pleasure when He sees us eating what He feeds us and laying down to sleep in peace and comfort. I’m not referring here to physical food, but to spiritual food. Our spiritual food is the very Word of God. It is when we feed on His Words, that we have everything we need to face anything in the day. When we have God’s own Words in our hearts, then no matter what’s going on in our lives, we rest in peace and comfort because we know our Father is in charge. He will care for us, guide us, watch over us.
It is when we accept His care that He can’t help but to delight in us. Just like I delight when Blackie shows his pleasure in the food I give him or in the warm bed I provide for him, God delights when we recognize His care for us. It warms His heart when He sees us walking along the path of His own perfect design. He sings over us when He sees us delighting in His Words that give us the spiritual nourishment we need. He is filled with joy when we rest in His presence, knowing that He has provided for us, and that He will guide us through all difficulties of life.
So, why does God delight in us with all our foibles, our mistakes, our insecurities? It’s just because He loves us. Just like I always prepare the food bowl for Blackie, our Father will always prepare a table for us, too, that He may care for and provide for us. I get disappointed if Blackie disappears for a day or two. He needs to be home, I tell myself. Then, when he appears, oh the delight!
You and I may wander, too, from the things of God. We may ignore the food bowl He has prepared for us. If that’s you; if you have wandered away — don’t let that keep you away! Be assured, as soon as your Father sees you taking what He has provided for you — His delight will be immeasurable. His love is eternal!