Once a child can talk, one of the first things, she says is "Look at me!"
"I can write my name all by myself." "I can ride a bike by myself."
And if there is a caring adult available, who looks, listens and affirms the child's excitement, she learns that "What I do and think are important."
The child finds that she can delight another. She also discovers that a shared delight is multiplied.
Think of how adults will surround a toddler taking his first steps. With bated breath, the adults (assuming they are loving) will celebrate every teetering step taken even if the toddler falls.
The adult knows that each hesitant step is a step to even greater things: a steady walk then rapid running to explore a vast unknown world.
What if we believed that God celebrates our every faltering step of faith toward Him?
He is not waiting for us to stumble so He can criticize us.
What if we believed that God has great things in store for us? (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Every time, we choose love over apathy or hate, God smiles with delight.
- Every time, we turn to Him for comfort instead of to a lesser substitute (e.g., food, TV, a game), He celebrates with us.
- Every time, we confess our failures, instead of denying or blaming another, He welcomes us with arms open wide.
Moving the truth of God's delight in us - a delight that is not earned (Romans 5:8) but simply given with His forgiveness- from mere mental assent to heart-felt truth is a process.
One way I have learned to make that truth more real is to thank God for His undeserved love and delight in me. It opens my soul to receive His delight as I count the blessings - the obvious ones and the hidden/hard ones.
Ann Voskamp shows how gratitude makes belief in God's delight more real in her wonderful book, One Thousand Gifts.
Another step that has helped me is to be honest with God about where I am. If I am struggling to believe, I don't fake it. I tell God.
When I spend time with God in authentic conversation and meditation on the Bible, He imprints His love into my soul.
It reminds me of when I spend time with our girl. We converse.
I love spending time with her. She knows that I am not expecting her to serve me or dazzle me. I simply enjoy being with her.
When I think about my relationship with God in those terms, it is easier for me to believe that He delights in me.
He doesn't want my service; He wants relationship with me.
When I believe that God delights in me, it causes me to draw closer to Him.
It makes me want to serve Him out of love not out of obligation.
Do you believe that God simply delights in you?
What spiritual practices help you to make God's delight in you more of a heart-reality?
Giving thanks with Ann:
- For being able to ride bikes as a family
- An ice pack for my ankle; nothing serious
- For daughter's laughter
- That our girl has a fun dad
- For frozen pomegranate and chocolate yogurt...yum!
- For how God redeems the tough times (Romans 8:28, 29)
- For vegetable potstickers
- For friends who love and encourage with their words and actions
- Gently bending pink tulips and my sweet friend who gave them to me
- Purple and yellow primroses from another dear friend - grateful for her
- Being able to encourage a friend
- Being able to load and unload a dishwasher
- Praying for and with my friends
- Praying for the world as I read the news
- Being able to read poetry online
Subscribe (like me) to Every Day Poems and have a poem delivered to your inbox (M -F) at http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/blog/every-day-poems/
I am linking with three God-gifted sisters' blogs today: talented L.L. Barkat, encouraging Laura Boggess, and wise Ann VosKamp at her blog:"A Holy Experience"
Be encouraged and visit each of their beautiful blogs!
© Soul Stops/Dolly L. 2011. Creative Commons License: Okay for noncommercial use if you attribute this post to me and link to my permalink and blog.