Almost every day I enjoyed the privilege of putting my granddaughter down for her nap. Sometimes we read a book (or two or three). Sometimes I would sing to her. Sometimes, both. Usually both.
I used to struggle with the verse, “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.” Zephaniah 3:17
Not anymore. Not since singing my little Clara to sleep. For some reason, when I began to sing to her, she would cease her fussing. She would settle her head into my shoulder and listen. I would feel her little body relax, her eyes would close and soon (sometimes later than sooner) she would be peacefully asleep. Sometimes I thought she was asleep and when I began to move her to put her in bed, in a sleepy voice she would say, “Keep singing, Grammy.”
And so, I would.
I was talking to a friend not long ago. A friend who has Parkinson’s disease and who was struggling. We do that every now and then, you know – struggle. I was trying to encourage her fraught spirit and we started talking about the verse above from the book of Zephaniah in the Old Testament. I told her about singing to Clara and then I told her what God has taught me through singing to my little Clara.
God tells us that He is with us. He has told us that He will never leave us – in our weariness, when we are burdened, weighed down, under pressure, stressed, under attack – you know – just plain wiped out physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. He has the strength and desire to save us from all that begs to destroy our well-being. Why? He delights in us. He derives pleasure in taking care of us. It brings Him joy and gladness. He revels in doing things – just for us.
He quiets us with His love… When Clara would lay her head down, I would rub her back and sing to her. She knows she is loved. A child will have difficulty falling asleep when they do not feel safe or loved and they feel safe when they know they are loved.
We are no different. We feel safe when we know that we are loved. We are able to rest – to lean into the Lord and let go of all the things that this life can throw at us. We can rest our head on His shoulder and know He will take care of us and in that, we find comfort and peace.
He rejoices over us with singing… What a picture this brings to mind. A newborn baby – being cradled in her daddy’s arms as he sings over her with an inexplicable love and inexpressible joy. This is how God looks upon His children and that, my friends, literally blows my mind. He knows us each by name and loves us with a love that is so unfathomable, we quite simply cannot comprehend it. He rejoices over us and delights in us with singing, as a new daddy with his precious newborn.
It’s funny. Clara is now 1,000 miles away and now I watch my little Finn. I read him the same books and if he hasn’t fallen asleep by the time we’ve read his 14 favorites, as I begin singing to him, he tucks his head under my arm and drifts off into a peaceful slumber. A beautiful picture of how God wants us to cast all our cares on Him and like a baby, sleep peacefully and safely in His arms, knowing we are loved.