Our Singing God

Mr. K never liked me much from the moment he hired me to be the summer maintenance lackey at his Ocean City, New Jersey hotel.

True, I was pretty much a lazy, hippie college student essentially squandering my summer in Ocean City, only working to get enough money to sustain life and have fun. True, I really didn’t know how to do anything even remotely related to maintenance and I moved slightly slower than a three-toed sloth. So there was not a lot for Mr. K to like about me other than my sparkling personality. But I always found ways to provide more fodder for his disgust.

One afternoon he called me into his office and told me to go up to a room on the second floor, remove an air-conditioner the size of King Kong, then using a dolly, bring it down the outside cement steps and place it in one of the first floor units.

“I can’t do that,” I protested, “it’s too heavy.” I know he thought I was just being lazy. “Just do what I say,” Mr. K barked.

Straining every fiber in my being, I managed to muscle the massive air-conditioner out of its hole in the wall and onto the dolly. The thing weighed slightly less than a grand piano. Somehow I managed to maneuver it to the top of the cement stairs. How was I ever going to get it down? I shuffled around the side and with one hand under the air-conditioner and one hand gripping the dolly, began perilously rocking it from side to side, sliding it down the first step of about 20. Suddenly the air-conditioner launched itself into the air, bouncing down the steps in slow motion — nuts, bolts, coils and other unidentifiable parts flying off in all directions. I’ll never forget the sight. It was beautiful, in a twisted sort of way.

Like I said, Mr. K never liked me much. But after that, every time he looked at me I couldn’t help but think he regarded me as a life form somewhere between a cockroach and a garden slug.

How does God look upon his children whom he purchased with the blood of his Son? With delight or disgust? With pleasure or annoyance? Is he like the character from Jane Austen, “Mr. Darcy, who never looks at any woman but to see a blemish”? Does God never look upon us but to see our failures, shortcomings and sins? Zephaniah 3.17 says:

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

What an amazing Scripture. Christ looks upon his children with utter delight. He actually rejoices over us with gladness. He’s happy with us. He’s glad he saved us. He’s so delighted in us he sings loud songs over us. Wow. What does that sound like? I can’t wait to hear Jesus singing.

God’s delight in us originated in his own heart in eternity past. He loved us with an everlasting love. Not because we were lovable or worthy or desirable, but simply because he chose to love us for his own reasons. The Father’s love moved him to send Jesus to live and die for sinners, that he might bring us to himself, wash away our sins and clothe us with the beautiful garment of Jesus’ righteousness.

God rejoices over us, exults over us, jubilates, and is elated over us because he sees his glorious Son in us. He doesn’t just tolerate us – he sings loud songs over us. Meditate on this wonderful truth this week and give thanks to our loving King.

O Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, thank you for your love for me today. Thank you that you sing over me in love.

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.