Exploring Delight In A Harsh World

Divine Transformation

“That was delightful!” is a phrase I don’t hear much. It sounds like something a character in a Jane Austen novel would say at the end of a picnic with parasols and tea, doesn’t it? In the South, where I was born, we would often say “that did my heart good” or she was “tickled pink!” That was our way of expressing delight. For me, delight is that moment or experience that seems to take my breath away – in a good way.

As a small child, I remember that feeling when I slid my legs into a prickly potato sack and launched myself down the giant slide at the local fair. In my mind, that slide was as big as Mt. Everest and I was pretty much the bravest person on the planet to dare slide down with my white-knuckled grip on the sack. The squeals of laughter, mouth wide open, and an overflow of giggling at the bottom interrupted by my plea: “Daddy! Let’s ride it again!”

My most recent experience with delight was our family road trip to Disney. I can’t say the 16+ hour drive was particularly delightful, but we were able to hop on the Avatar Flight of Passage during our visit. I’m not one to get all googly over a theme park ride, but this was truly an amazing experience. I applaud those who imagined and built this attraction. They were able to literally give flight to my imagination as I soared over tropical treetops, feeling the breeze and mist of a waterfall and even the breathing of the make-believe winged creature beneath me. The beauty of the experience actually brought me to tears! It was one of those rare moments that made me want to repeat it and repeat it … until they kick us out of the park.

Delight, though, is a rare experience for me. Life is hard. As I read the words that reflect a life void of delight, the list includes sorrow, discontent, misery, depression, gloom … and, honestly, those are words I relate to quite often. Why is that?

As I seek to align myself – heart, mind, and body – to the truth of God’s Word, I often grab a word and then search it in Scripture to find out what God’s perspective is. I was amazed to find the most common use of the word delight is in connection with God’s law, His commands, His instructions:

“How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.” Psalm 112:1 (NLT)

“I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.” Psalm 119:14-16 (NLT)

“Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight.” Psalm 199:77 (NLT)

This verse was the one that stood out to me most:

“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.” Jeremiah 15:16 (NLT)

Have you read “Eat This Book” by Eugene Peterson? It is one of the required readings in the 200/100 hour Holy Yoga Instructor Training. The idea of devouring God’s Word is such a vivid picture of satisfying a deep and ravenous hunger. It’s about allowing Scripture to sink in and penetrate every cell of our being; allowing it to transform us in every way. And this verse says God’s words are our joy and delight. Why? Because we bear His name. The name of the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. As His followers, we bear – we carry – we wear His Name. What an honor that is! And what does God delight in? God delights in…

…demonstrating unfailing love; bringing justice and righteousness to the earth. (Jeremiah 9:24, NLT)

…pardoning guilt; overlooking sin; showing unfailing love. (Micah 7:18, NLT)

These are the things that make God giddy. And each of those things is incredibly important to me!

And my favorite:

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

Did you catch that? He delights in YOU. In ME. The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is tickled pink over us – we who bear His name. He lives among us. He is our mighty savior. And, WE, are His delight.

Would you pause a moment with me and consider a time in your life when you experienced delight?

And then, would you bravely gather up that emotion and allow God to speak to you the truth of how He feels about you today? That delight you felt – He feels for you. That’s an incredible truth, isn’t it?

Let’s pray together that God will awaken within us a deep sense of delight whenever we read – devour – his Word:

Father, let us be so delighted, that we are compelled to experience it over and over and over again. Open our hearts and minds to be delighted in the discovery of your Truth. So much so, that we shout, “Daddy! Let’s read it again!”

We would be DELIGHTED if you would comment below and share an experience that has brought you delight. And, what it means to you as you consider that the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is delighted in you!