“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
My son has an inner ear infection. We caught it early, and he is doing much better. But for several nights he was inconsolable. He would scream and kick and cry every time we tried to lay him down. We had no way to make him understand that he was going to be okay, and that the pain wouldn’t last forever. So we had only to hold him close, bear his kicks and screams and thrashing about, and to sing to him. In time he’d wear himself out from crying, and he’d quiet down enough to hear the song, and he’d finally calm down and relax into our arms.
There have been a lot of moments like this since I became a father. There are some aspects of God that have only really become clear to me now that I am some one’s dad. This moment gave me the image of what Zephaniah was talking about in this verse. We are thrashing about. We kick and scream at this pain we can’t understand. We lash out at a God who isn’t taking away our pains. We are inconsolable. Then at some point we become so worn out from the struggle that we stop our fighting long enough to hear that still small voice singing a lullaby. God holds us closely, and patiently sings a song over us until we understand that we are in the hands of one who is “mighty to save.” Even in our anger and fear and frustration, God rejoices over us, and sings a song of praise and comfort to our weary soul.