He Delights in Us
I have the privilege of being a mom and now a grandma, and there is nothing like the birth of a baby. The word that comes to mind is delight! There is celebration and awe over a new little life, and we continue to delight in our children as they grow up. A baby learns to roll over, then crawl, and start to take his or her first steps accompanied by squeals of laughter and joy — look at what they can do! Even when a child is tired and grumpy, a parent or grandparent still sees that child with delight. Children are a gift, a blessing from God. Do you think God sees you in this way?
When our kids were little, my husband’s favorite time of day was when he got home from work because the kids would come running to him shouting, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” He’d scoop them up in his arms and they’d giggle and laugh. They knew he was delighted with them. They brought him joy.
That’s how God sees you, too! From your very conception, God had joy in forming you. Psalm 139 tells us that we are wonderfully made and that our days were ordained by God before we drew our first breath. We are reminded in Genesis that each one of us is made in the image of God. This means that we are a reflection of who He is. We are like our heavenly Father. Daddy. Here is one of my favorite verses:
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV).
Recently, I sat at the end of our dock with my little grandbaby in my arms. Minutes before, she had been on a mission, crawling and getting into everything. But as we relaxed there, I sang to her. She sat perfectly still and quiet. She was snuggled in as I rejoiced over her with singing. That’s how the Father sees you. He invites you to a relationship with Him. To eat with you, walk with you, empower you, provide for you. He cares for you. He is close to you. He gives you a huge inheritance. He gives you His authority. You are the apple of His eye. He delights in you. You make Him smile.
So how do we respond to that kind of God? Do we run and jump into His arms, calling Him “Daddy”? Do we sit still and quiet as He rejoices and sings over us?
I remember a birthday card that my mother-in-law gave to my husband. In it she simply wrote, “Let Him love you.” When I first read it, I didn’t know what she meant. Then it struck me. We can often be too caught up in our busyness, our troubles, and our distractions that we miss God. He delights in you. He wants you to let Him love you. Welcome His perfect love. You don’t have to work for it. He already loves you completely. He couldn’t love you more than He already loves you.
Christianity is not about appeasing an angry God, and Jesus’ death and resurrection already satisfied the required payment for our sins. Paul writes,
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
God loved us first. He delights in us. Christianity is about receiving His love. Let that wash over your heart and mind today and free you from any distorted views of God. Then, run to your Daddy, and let Him take delight in you because that’s courageous living.
How Much More!
SCRIPTURE READING — MATTHEW 7:7-11
“How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Where I live in Canada, many students and teachers are preparing to go back to school—and for our family that means making school lunches again. We go through quite a lot of bread because we often make sandwiches for lunch. Sometimes one of our kids will come home with an uneaten sandwich, and that can make me wonder, Was it not good? Were they not hungry? Did they not have time to eat it?
In Matthew 7, Jesus emphasizes that if we human parents, as imperfect as we are, know how to provide for our children, how much more does our Father in heaven provide good things for us! The problem is that we don’t always recognize how God provides for us. We expect something else, or we wait for God to feed us only what we want. Sometimes we have no appetite because we’ve filled ourselves with other things. Perhaps we have no time to pay attention to God’s goodness because we’ve filled our schedules with other activities.
Hopefully, reflecting on the theme of bread in the Bible will help us to slow down and notice the many ways God satisfied his people in the past, and that God continues to satisfy our needs through his Word and presence in our lives today. Jesus promises to nourish us—in both body and soul.
Lord, thank you for all of your good gifts. Help us to ask for what we need, and to recognize the ways you provide for us each day, that we may receive all that you intend for us in Christ. Amen.
Streams in the Desert – September 2
- 20222 Sep
Unto you it is given… to suffer (Philippians 1:29).
God keeps a costly school. Many of its lessons are spelled out through tears. Richard Baxter said, “O God, I thank Thee for a bodily discipline of eight and fifty years”; and he is not the only man who has turned a trouble into triumph.
This school of our Heavenly Father will soon close for us; the term time is shortening every day. Let us not shrink from a hard lesson or wince under any rod of chastisement. The richer will be the crown, and the sweeter will be Heaven, if we endure cheerfully to the end and graduate in glory.
–Theodore L. Cuyler
The finest china in the world is burned at least three times, some of it more than three times. Dresden china is always burned three times. Why does it go through that intense fire? Once ought to be enough; twice ought to be enough. No, three times are necessary to burn that china so that the gold and the crimson are brought out more beautiful and then fastened there to stay.
We are fashioned after the same principle in human life. Our trials are burned into us once, twice, thrice; and by God’s grace these beautiful colors are there and they are there to stay forever.
Symbols and Visions
“I have been the LORD your God since the land of Egypt … I have also spoken to the prophets, and I provided many visions, and through the prophets, I spoke in parables.” – Hosea 12:9-10 NASB
As God’s people faced renewed problems, He reminded them of His longstanding relationship with them. They recalled how He led them out of bondage in Egypt, provided for them in the wilderness, and gave them His Word.
Through Hosea, God reminded the Israelites that He still was speaking to them. He continued to call prophets to guide them and provide fresh revelation. Through many visions, He reminded them of His presence, His Word, and His plans. He encouraged them to seek Him and cry out for His wisdom.
Some words God spoke were direct, but He reminded them that He also spoke in “parables.” The Hebrew word used here can also be translated as symbols. God was saying that He may use word pictures to speak to us. This method helps us understand world events and His prophetic vision. We see this same commitment in the ministry of Jesus, who did not speak “without a parable” (Matthew 13:34).
God speaks in many ways. He speaks through His anointed servants and His Spirit. By doing so, He guides us, teaches us, and corrects us. He still speaks through symbols, parables, dreams, and visions.
It remains important to base our lives on His Word. We must make the Bible the standard by which everything is compared, so its principles provide our foundation.
Let Him speak to you. Make sure you have ears to hear.
Reflection Question: Through what means has God guided you previously?