Do you delight in me?
I know that you love me, I believe that, but delight?
I think I'm not really grasping this yet. Three times in the last few weeks have I come across the idea that you delight in me. Once in a sermon and once on my daily reading, and once somewhere else that I can't call to mind. Not just love, not just care for, but delight.
It's made me think. So much so that I am aware that I've used the word 'delight' five times in eight sentences and the first four were in italics.
I delight in my children. I delight in the way they laugh, the way they astonish me with their perception, their development, their wit. They delight me with their smiles, their fragrance, the softness of their skin. They delight me with little 'I love you' cards, with ideas, with funny ways of saying things and sometimes even with their behaviour. This delight is a mixture of love, pride, surprise, more love, admiration, happiness.
When I feel delighted with my children I am enjoying them. They make me happy. They give me pleasure.
I know that you love me, and I know that I am your child, but I'm sorry to say that it's a fairly new idea to me that I can make you happy to that degree. I know that you love me and I've always understood the idea that you want what's best for me - but I let you down. All the time. I know that you forgive me and lavish more love on me but that I've always felt that I can't really give you anything back. What do you need? You're God. Surely there isn't anything that I can give you? When my children smile and hug me and tell me they love me, I am delighted. Do you really feel like that?
I heard someone say the other week that if God had a photo of me in his wallet he'd be showing everyone and saying, 'This is my daughter! Look! She's wonderful and I love her. Look! Isn't she great? My daughter!' Now that's what I do with my daughters - do you really feel that way about me?
Can you be so proud of me despite my obvious flaws? Can you really revel in me, get pleasure from me - delight in me - in the same way that I am enchanted by my girls? Maybe the answer lies in the fact that quite often my girls frustrate me, annoy me and make me mad, but I always always return to the heart-swelling love that I see when they're asleep. I always see the best, the potential, the loveliness when they're asleep.
Somewhere I read that you look on me as I sleep and smile in that way too. When I'm not saying something I shouldn't, or doing something I shouldn't, or thinking something I shouldn't. I'm asleep and not dissembling or scheming or shouting or worrying; I'm just asleep. You look on me with delight. I love that idea. I love the idea that my heavenly Daddy comes and strokes my face and bends to kiss me as I sleep. Sometimes as a 'grown-up' in this world I still want someone to come and take care of me. When I have to be so strong for my children and strong for my Mum and strong for my husband I sometimes feel that I am pathetically weak and vulnerable and it's all a mirage. Up close I'm still just a child. That's when it would be wonderful to think that someone looks down on me and loves me as protectively and forgivingly and full of wonder and pride as I do with Elizabeth and Katy.
Another thing was in a daily reading by Bill Hybels:
'My children are an absolute priority to me. Now multiply a father's love exponentially and you'll know how your heavenly father feels about you. No-one's voice sounds sweeter to God than yours.'
Can I really be that important to you? You love me so much? You delight in me? Not just tolerate me, or love me in a 'Well, I made her, she's alright when she tries her best' sort of way? Does my voice sounds sweet to you? Do you love it when I want to talk with you, be with you? Do you long for me to hang around with you more often and for longer?
Help me to grasp this, Lord. I am in awe that my God is also my Daddy. I don't know what to make of the news that the King of Kings who holds the Universe in his hands can also look at me with any sort of enthusiasm, let alone joy. I am amazed.
It makes me want to love you more. If my children make me laugh with delight when they smile and when they come to snuggle up to me or when they talk to me or tell me they love me then I want to make you laugh with delight when I do those things too. I must stop looking down and in at myself and start looking up at you with the love that I feel. Tell you about it, not just come to you half asleep with a shopping list of things I want from you.
I'm sitting here and smiling.
I love you, my Daddy. Thankyou for loving me so much.