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soccerPraise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.  Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre. For the Lord takes delight in his people.
Psalm 149:1-4

Did you see “granddaughter” in today’s title and think: “Oh no, not another grandfather story!”?  I wouldn’t blame you, but I ask your indulgence this time

It happened at my granddaughter Hayden’s soccer game.  I could scarcely watch any of the other players because of my sheer delight in watching Hayden both on the field and sidelines.  Hayden was just learning to dribble the ball, pass it to others, and not to go off sides, and Hayden was fantastic!  Well, that’s how my grandfather’s eyes delighted in Hayden.

Then back and forth, back and forth, my eyes started going from Hayden to my son as he delighted in her.  I thought then of the many times my father had come out to watch me, and of how he showed his delight.  I imagined my father in that great Communion of the Saints looking down from heaven and delighting in all our delight.  I think delight might be passed down through the generations.  It’s catching.  

And that’s when a five year old’s soccer game moved into a meditative experience for me.  I meditated on how people delight in children and grandchildren, but how much more Abba Father delights in us!  I understand how for some it might sound unbiblical, almost irreverent to read that God delights in us His children, and is partial to each one.  But God does actually take pleasure in us (Note: it is the same Hebrew word, rasa, that is translated in our Bibles as both “to take pleasure in” and “to delight in”).  God enjoys us!

In today’s Scripture passage the Book of Psalms is becoming to come to an end, and we are called to sing a “new song”.   Break out in jubilant dance!  Take up the tambourine and lyre in order to sing praise to God!   And why are we praising God: “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people”.

This past week I was having coffee with my friend Henry Rojas talking about the weekly Internet radio program we begin in November.  As we talked Henry said something that gripped me: “Guilt is an indicator that we don’t know who God is, and shame is an indicator that we don’t know who we are.”

As soon as Henry said those words, I could identify.  I thought about how I so often project onto God all the disappointment I am feeling about myself.  You wouldn’t believe the times I can get so down on myself and say things to myself that I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy on his worst day!  And of course, the Evil One, the Slanderer, and Prince of Darkness, has a heyday with all this!   It’s my default setting to get down on myself and think God must be down on me too.

I think that the secret to David’s confidence, despite his many sins, was his daily awareness that His Redeemer delighted in him. Consider just a few of David’s reminders of God’s delight in His people:  

He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19; II Samuel 22:20).

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23).

I wonder: is it hard for you to say that God delights in you?  I wonder again: how might your life be different if you would daily set aside time and space to celebrate God’s delight?  Why not make this your “new song”: “For the Lord takes delight in his people”.

And that means, you!  

As always, grace and peace…and delight,

photo by Rita Smith

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