I’ve spent much of my adult life trying hard to not be myself. Unfortunately, I lack the focus required to keep up an act and go about doing the other things that life requires of me. It simply takes too much energy and concentration, and before I know it, my mask is off. I wrote recently about finding new contentment with being myself, but the assaults of life keep coming. Additionally, there is an insecurity that comes with continued singleness; at some point you begin to wonder what is wrong with you that no one is interested. Well, I have never actually had to wonder. My signature flaw has always been known to me and everyone who meets me: I have a big mouth. The book of 1 Peter admonishes women to adorn themselves with “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.” I am the opposite of this: opinionated, outspoken, and I think, obnoxious. How I have earnestly prayed for years that I could be gentle and control my tongue!
In my morning reading, I was stopped short by these words of King David in 2 Samuel 22:20b, “He rescued me because he delighted in me.” My mind went immediately to my own rescue that God was so gracious to provide. But could God have done that for me because He delighted in me? I stopped myself there. I didn’t want to claim even in my thoughts that God delighted in me.
It was another of those days, and as I was driving home from work, I felt the weight of discouragement. I felt kicked in the gut, once again, by the disapproval of those around me. Could I ever be acceptable? Then the verse from the morning came back to me – a nudging from the Holy Spirit, perhaps. It seemed so clear that God wanted me to know that no matter my sins or annoying idiosyncracies, He delights in me. When the rest of the world has gotten more than enough of me, He is still delighted. But I thought the ‘delighting’ was my job, and that I am supposed to delight myself in Him?
I looked up the word ‘delight’ in the dictionary: to please greatly, or to take great pleasure in. I know that God’s love for us is a theme that runs all the way through Scripture, so clearly I cannot deny His love for me. But how could it be that I would please Him greatly? I sought to find more Scriptural evidence of this new concept.
My search of Scripture for ‘delight’ yielded me mostly what my preconceived notion had been, that I should delight in the Lord. But, armed with the definition, I searched for the word ‘pleasure’ and found the following:
Psalm 147:10-11 “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
Psalm 149:4 “For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.”
Philippians 2:13 “Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
I am still hesitant. Can God really delight in me or take pleasure in working in me? When no human being (other than my parents, I suppose) can delight in me, God is somehow able to, even though He knows my sin and shame better than anyone else? Psalm 139:16 states, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance, in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Is it not enough for Him to have known us and called us before there was time, yetHe delights in us, also? This lesson has all but left me speechless.