It may sound like a wild zigzag line from checking out new parents’ social media feeds to learning that God delights in us and then how to delight in the Lord! It’s a straighter line than you may think.
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I love seeing the transformation of new mommas on social media; the updates on pregnancy or adoption woes, the photos of the trials and triumphs, all in anticipation of a new love.
Then, inevitably, the New Love is more than expected and there’s an apology post about how they’d promised themselves they wouldn’t be “that mom” who gushed several times a day with pictures of spit bubbles or seemingly shocking updates like “She loves milk!”, but truly, this baby’s love of milk and ability to make spit bubbles is special.
It is beautiful watching this love unfold! And it is such an important developmental stage. Falling this deeply is vital preparation for the road to come with all its tough, rocky, treacherous patches.
God delights in us.
The following verse, over any other, reminds me of new parenthood.
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Not recalling any difficulty leading up to this day. Just rejoicing over the one you’d give it all up for. It is glorious.
Oh, the balancing act. To snap and post, or savor sweetly? Deeply pondering whether friends would forgive one more update on this little world changer. Falling in love with God, an incredibly sweet world changer, and being consumed with his words, can create similar questions.
We are called to delight in the Lord.
Those conversations where every syllable is saturated in excitement because you and a friend exchange verse after ancient verse that pertain to the current situation, make the heart turn somersaults. Maybe it was a joking reference to one another as “Pilgrim” with a John Wayne twang. Maybe it was a deeper, empowering encouragement to “fear not”, recalling poetic references on God’s ever-present proximity.
Whatever the subject matter, I walk away from these exchanges with laughable joy in the nerding-out over Jesus.
But let all who passionately seek you erupt with excitement and joy over what you’ve done! Let all your lovers, who continually rejoice in the Savior, say aloud, “How great and glorious is our God!” Psalm 70:4, The Passion Translation (TPT)
This awakening in our hearts is a gift! The ability to listen, learn and love is at the core of our human existence. To do these things well, brings growth and great skill. Both of which are needed to navigate the path when it becomes dark and treacherous.
Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most. Psalm 37:4 The Passion Translation (TPT)
God himself, the creator of love and science, desires that we find delight in him. Doing so is transforming and all-consuming. It is a safeguard to our hearts when what we “desire most” is no longer anchored to people and things. Those needs don’t go away but our wants change. Our attitude is miraculously changed, or in my experience, “miraculously remedied”.
Taking delight in the Lord, leads to gratitude.
God delights in us, no matter how we’ve measured up that day, putting it all aside to rescue us with mighty love, to quiet us with singing. Not that our actions don’t have consequences. They just don’t affect how deeply he loves us. It is no wonder that when we receive this love, it erupts from us and our desires are remedied; no longer valuing quick fixes but seeking long-term, unshakable joy. We want more understanding of his mysteries and we seek hard after his answers. It is a whole new “fix”!
And when the sleepless nights and relentless decision-making burden us, we can cling to this love, having strength to be content, whether full or hungry, in lack and in abundance. This hope, born of walking through troubles with his help, does not put us to shame.
Acknowledging him in our everyday interactions, whether in silent recognition or in conversations with others, shouldn’t be seen as silly but as an opportunity for mutual delight with our Father. It seems he finds all our nerding out absolutely delightful!
God delights in us
Here are a few more verses to consider as we remember that God delights in us. They also give us courage to seek him first in all we do, taking delight in the Lord. How beautiful that this is a reciprocal feeling!
His love broke open the way
and he brought me into a beautiful broad place.
He rescued me—because his delight is in me!
Psalm 18:19 The Passion Translation (TPT)
When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16 New International Version (NIV)
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!” Psalm 70:4 New International Version (NIV)
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you. Psalm 63:3 New International Version (NIV)
Don’t we all need more love? Love that is better than life? Better than love for a new life even, with all its sweet discoveries? The roller coaster of “Am I doing this right? Am I good enough? Am I ever going to rest? But oh, look at that sweet face!” All questioning is settled as we erupt with joy over the loving-kindness that abounds in a personal relationship with Jesus.
Prayer: God, thank you for delighting in me. For singing over me. For loving me in a way I can’t quite comprehend. Give me a heart that is obedient to trust you in all things, all the days of my life. You are good. You are worthy of praise. I thank you for your love that is better than life itself and stand amazed at how freely you pour it out for us. In all things, no matter what I face, your love is strong and sure. I have much to be thankful for. Let me never trade anything for the gracious love you give. Shape me to mirror you that you might find delight in me, too!
My sweet tribe of a book club read Gratitude Works! by Robert A. Emmons last November. I was expecting a pragmatic approach, and while that’s true with its “homework” type assignments and scientific data on how gratitude changes the brain, there’s a definite spiritual lean. Perfect if you’re like me and have a hard time separating science from spirit anyway!