"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 songs." Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
Startled by the silence, I shot up in bed so I could see the neon red lights that told me it was three in the morning, time to feed the baby. But Andrew hadn't made a sound. Was something wrong? Or was he sleeping through the night?
Wavering between panic and joy, I felt my way down the hall to the nursery and leaned over Andrew's crib. I listened for the sound of his breathing and carefully rested my hand on his tiny chest to feel the gentle rhythm of its rising and falling.
Moonlight slipped through the blinds helping me see he was perfectly fine. Most sane mothers would have gone back to bed, but not me. I stood there for a while just delighting in my child.
The love and joy I felt at that moment was almost overwhelming. How could I love someone so much? My heart longed just to be with this little guy who set my days in motion with his cries and smiles.
Andrew developed a routine of sleeping through the night soon after, yet I would listen for him, hoping for a good excuse to see if he was okay. While he was sleeping, I'd sneak into his room just because I wanted to be with him. Then I'd tiptoe into my older son Joshua's room, and watch him slumber.
Looking at their faces, I'd imagine the boys God was shaping them into. I'd whisper prayers for them to know Jesus and love Him with all their hearts. I'd ask God to calm their fears, fulfill their dreams and establish their steps to follow His ways.
My sons are teenagers now, but sometimes I still sneak into their rooms to pray over them and watch them. They aren't doing anything to make me feel proud or happy. In fact, they may have even driven me to my wit's end that day, but I delight in them because they are mine.
You know, God feels the exact same way about you and me. He loves to be with us and watch over us. And it's not because we are doing anything for Him, but simply because we are His. We might have even disappointed Him that day, but it doesn't change how He feels about us.
I sense God wants you to know that He delights greatly in you. And with His love, He is there today to quiet your fears, insecurities and doubts. I have a feeling the joy-filled songs He sings over you are written just for you, describing the beautiful woman He's created you to be, while gently leading your heart to know and rely on His love more and more each day.
What a great reminder for times when nothing's going right; when we feel like the whole world is against us and nobody understands what we're going through. I hope the next time you have one of those days you'll imagine the love of a mother watching her child sleeping. And remember that your Heavenly Father loves and delights in you even more than that — because you belong to Him.
Dear Lord, thank You for the reminder that You are always with me and that You love to watch over me, every minute of every day - even while I am sleeping! Help me to completely believe the truth about Your love towards me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Rest Assured: How to Rest, Be Renewed & Remain in God's Promises and Plans — a message on CD by Renee Swope
Visit Renee's website/blog for a list of Bible promises and prayers to help you live in God's love today!
Reflect and Respond:
Do I believe God is watching over me, smiling and delighting in the fact that I am HIS?
As I close my eyes, I'll picture God watching over me at this moment. No matter what I've done or what has been done to me, God's love reaches down to hold me in His arms. Bowing my head and tilting my heart, I'll listen to Him whisper, "You are precious in my sight and I love you" (Is. 43:4 NIV). I'll rest in the promise that He loves me, He knows my needs, and He's constantly by my side, watching over me.
Psalm 34:15, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry." (NIV 1984)
Psalm 139:1-3, "O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways." (NIV 1984)
Psalm 33:18, "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love..." (NIV 1984)
© 2012 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
I am a magnet for strange. Seriously. A few years ago I was outside with my three dogs soaking up the sunshine. We had gotten a new puppy named "Willow" for Christmas. Well, our other dogs, Champ and Chelsea, weren't sure what to think of precious, little three-pound, Willow.
I don't like open heights. I can't stand narrow balconies. And when driving across a bridge, you'll find me hugging the rail along the inside lane.
My daughter Hope is one of those people who knows how to dress. She'll put on a blue and white striped shirt, throw on an army jacket and black pants, finish the look with brown ankle boots and look like a fashionista.
It's usually very subtle. I'll think about something I want to do or sense God calling me to, and a feeling of uncertainty comes over me. Doubt whispers You can't do that. You're not good enough.
What makes a woman tender also reveals her vulnerabilities.
What makes a woman transparent also exposes her wounds.
What makes a woman authentic also uncovers her insecurities.
How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
by Karen Ehman
Women are wired to control. We make sure the house is clean, the meals are prepared, the beds are made, the children are dressed, and everyone gets to where they’re going on time. But sometimes our strength of being conscientious can morph into the weakness of being a slight—or all out—control freak! This humorous, yet spiritually practical book will help you learn how to control what you should, trust God with what you can’t, and more importantly, decide which one is which! Join Karen Ehman, a recovering control freak, as she enables you to: