Did you know that God actually does happy dances because of His love for us?
If you're anything like me, that sounds almost sacrilegious. I've always seen God's love for me as a more serious thing, a love based on the will, not emotions.
During a special time of focused prayer/Bible study, I did a bit of a study on joy. My first surprise was just how much we are commanded to be joyful. My second, was that joy is actually a part of God's nature - which is why we are told to imitate it. My final surprise though, reduced me to tears.
I read a passage that is very familiar to me, and that I've always loved, but this time I went a step further and dug into the meaning of the words a bit more.
Zephaniah 3:17 - "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in His love, He will joy over you with singing."
The first 'rejoice' means "to be bright, cheerful, make mirth". Honestly, I've never associated brightness, cheerfulness, or mirth with God, and it was amazing to think that not only is this part of His nature, but it's how He feels about ME!
The next 'joy' means "blithesomeness or glee. Mirth, pleasure, rejoicing". Glee?!
The part that made me cry though was the meaning of the next 'joy'. It means to "spin around under the influence of any violent emotion".
Now, those of you who know me well know that I can completely relate to a type of joy that involves spinning and violent emotion. However, I've always seen this as a more negative part of who I am, the part of me that makes other more "serious, and thus more Godly" people (my perception) see me as a bit on the less mature side.
I can't begin to explain what it meant to me to discover that this part of who I am is actually a reflection of the character of God!
And, this is how He feels about us! He actually spins around because of the violent emotion he feels over us and sings!
Doesn't that make you feel special? And humbled?
This is just a piece of the journey God has been taking me on over the past few months to show me how much He truly LOVES me, and I hope it fills your heart with as much joy and awe as it does mine! :-)