I’ve been a Christian now for a really long time. 32 years to be exact. But one thing I’ve noticed is that as my faith journey progresses, God reveals Himself to me in different ways. The God I met at the altar of Huffman Assembly of God as a 5 year old was not the same God I knew at 15, nor the same God at 25 or even 35. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say ‘not the same’… He’s still the same God. But He just gets better and better! He builds on top of that last person/thing that I knew Him as and then He just blows my mind with a new twist or perspective of it. If you have ever heard the song ‘I Am’ by Nichole Nordeman, then you’ll totally understand what I’m talking about.
In Nichole’s song, she basically sums up her life in about 4 verses and choruses. As a child, God was her superhero and boo-boo healer. As a teenage girl, He became her best friend and secret-keeper. As an adult, married with children, He becomes her shepherd and Savior. And as the song ends, she describes how it will be when this earthly journey is over, and she sums it up with all God has been to her over all these years: Creator, Maker, Life Sustainer, Comforter, Healer, Redeemer, Lord and King, Beginning and the End… I Am.
One of the most profound revelations I’ve ever been blessed to receive from God was when I became a parent. I am not sure if any one event can actually help us identify with God’s love for us more than becoming a parent. And I’m not just talking biological. God was the original adoptive parent! (Romans 8:15 – “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”) Once I became a parent, thinking about God’s love for me became extremely vivid. It also made the sacrifice God made by giving His Son to die for me very, very real. I couldn’t come close to even imagining giving up my children, period, much less for the sake of someone else. Someone else that might not even realize the sacrifice is being made for them or someone else that may not even care. Oh, it just breaks my heart. It makes me eternally grateful for what Christ did for me.
I remember when I first had my precious baby girl Zoe. I would just hold her in my arms, look down on that sweet face, and could not believe how blessed I was to be given this angel to love. That feeling of love was/is so multi-faceted. I would look at her and be so full of joy and peace, and at the exact same time, I felt like my heart was in pain. Like it almost hurt me to love her so much. Does that make any sense? Wait… just had a revelation… maybe it hurts because your heart is just so full it can hardly stand it!
Of course, those same feelings just multiplied exponentially when I had Elsie Mae. You think that there is no way you could have any more love to share with another child, but then you do! It’s a God thing, I’m sure. That’s how He loves! He doesn’t just love a few. He doesn’t just love His firstborn, the ones who have been in church the longest, or the ones that are most well-behaved. He loves us all – all the same. Although we are all different, He loves us all the same. Just like I love both my girls. Both of my girls are very different, but I love them both the same.
One of my favorite things to do with the girls when they were babies was to rock them to sleep at night. I know that is not some foreign concept to most parents. A lot of parents rock their children to bed when they are very young. I cherish those sweet moments rocking my babies to sleep. I would gently rock them back and forth, feed them a bottle, speak softly to them of stories and scripture, and sing to them. Eventually, the eyelids would lose the battle and they would drift on to sleep. I’d then lay them in their cribs, say one more quick prayer, and give them a kiss.
Once the baby was down for the night, there was always tons of things to be done around the house. Dishes, laundry, cleaning, dishes, laundry… did I mention dishes and laundry?! But most nights, I couldn’t pull myself away from the side of that crib. As I lingered in the nursery, I would just look down over my sweet baby girls. And then I would sing over them.
Now when I was rocking them to sleep, as I mentioned earlier, I would sing too. I’d sing familiar lullabies like ‘Hush Little Baby’, and sometimes praise and worship songs. But once they were asleep and I was staring down at them with such awe, I would sing praise songs. Songs like ‘How Great Is Our God’ and ‘I Could Sing of Your Love Forever’. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude, my only response could be praise. So I’d sing over my girls. Songs of love and praise to God. Praying that one day, my girls would come to know the Lord the way I know Him. As a Super Hero and Boo-Boo Healer, a Best Friend and Secret Keeper, a Shepherd and Savior, and everything in between – I Am.
This past Sunday at church, we sang the song ‘Amazed’ during the worship set. I’ve done this song many times in the past, but this Sunday, for some reason, it really hit me in a fresh way. And it brought back all those emotions I would have standing next to the crib singing over my girls.
See, the lyrics to ‘Amazed’ go like this:
You dance over me
While I am unaware
You sing all around
But I never hear a sound
Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
How You love me
Did you notice that first verse? It says He dances over me and sings all around me. Isn’t that beautiful? And that comes straight from scripture! Zephaniah 3:17 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.’ The same way I would stand and look over the crib at my girls, delighting in them and singing over them – the Lord actually does that very thing for me! And it leaves me amazed.
Just in case you aren’t feeling too lovable today, please know that He is singing over you right now…