Who can say how these moments arrive? A sudden awareness, an unseen presence descending like a soothing breeze.
It happened to me one glorious fall day. The late afternoon sun felt warm on my skin. I’d been picking up trash, strewn along the roadside by our house.
With my garbage sack full, I strolled up the driveway, thinking about how seasons come and go and years slip by. A vague kind of loneliness came over me as one thought led to another. And then, God came near.
You’re so beautiful to Me, He whispered.
It had nothing to do with physical beauty. Time fades all that. Besides, I was grimy with dirt and perspiration. It seemed like such an odd thing for Him to say. Why then?
It had nothing to do with the fact that I was picking up other people’s garbage, as if that were something special. Concerned citizens in our town organize that kind of effort all the time.
It wasn’t like I’d just accomplished some great thing in my life. I was simply carrying a load of garbage up the driveway. But God seems to catch me off guard in quiet, solitary, mundane moments—maybe on purpose—so I won’t associate it with anything I’ve done.
He just wanted me to feel His pleasure.
Jesus hadn’t even started his ministry when John baptized him in the Jordan River. Still, God said, “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.” Of course, one might say, “That’s because it was Jesus,” but that same pleasure is for us.
God smiles when someone does the right thing and no one is looking. He rejoices over the marriage bed of a husband and wife who’ve remained faithful. He is moved by true contrition and forgiveness. He delights when we step into the purposes for which He made us. He notices surprising generosity, private worship, and honest prayers. He exults over each person who comes out of darkness into light.
It might sound prideful or pompous to say God takes pleasure in us. One could even say it smacks of self-righteousness. But His pleasure isn’t necessarily tied to our good behavior…Continue reading