Devotionals

The Power of Delight

 Psalm 43

Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.  You are God my stronghold.  Why have you rejected me?  Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?  Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.  Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.  I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.  Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

One night, not all that long ago, I was lying in my bed, praying to and meditating on God.  I was thinking about the awesome goodness of God, his creative power, his mystery, and the intimacy of his presence.  And in the midst of my wandering wonder, I alighted on a word: Delight.

God is delight; he doesn’t just give delight, he IS delight.

And when we take delight—grasping hold of utter enjoyment, oblivious to all else—we are transported and transformed.  We soar.  We float.  We transcend.  Delight overwhelms us and instead of being bogged down by the cares of the world, stuck in the rut of the mundane, or burdened by the expectations of those around us, we throw our heads back and laugh with abandon.  We run, arms outstretched, heart open wide to receive the joy of the moment.  Our gaze is held by awe, by love, by amazement, by delight and the rest of the world is the backdrop.

Delight is powerful.

When my children are caught up in faraway places of the imagination, laughing and running and playing, the rest of the world disappears.  Their eyes sparkle, their faces flush, their lips smile, their bodies dance.  They lose track of time.  They don’t notice their ever-increasing state of disarray from their messy hair to their dirty knees.  They even forget they’re hungry until I call them inside to eat.  Delight has captured their souls, and they’re blissfully lost in its embrace.

There is this video game my family likes to play: Mario Kart; maybe you’ve heard of it. Well, I’m not very good at it—in fact, my 6 year old is better at it than I—and because I’m such a bad Kart driver, I often find myself in last place or somewhere near the back of the pack.  But there’s always one thing I hope to get, one thing that has the power to turn the game around for me—Bullet Bill.  If I pass through a block where Bullet Bill is waiting for me (and of course he is), I automatically become a powerful speeding bullet on autopilot that allows me to plow through my opponents and get ahead quickly.  Nothing can stand in my way.  I don’t stay as a speeding bullet for long, but usually long enough to put me in contending position or sometimes even in front, allowing me to win the course.  I love Bullet Bill and what I can accomplish with him.

Delight is a lot like Bullet Bill.  Delight allows us to soar through our days with vibrancy and strength and boundless wonder.  A speeding ticket can’t bring us down.  There’s no customer so awful to ruin our hospitality and swipe the smile off our face.   There’s no line so long that we lose our cool and abandon our shopping carts for another day. “Success” becomes irrelevant, image unimportant.  Instead, joy becomes the hallmark of life lived, and we are well on our way.

Delight takes the soul that is downcast and disturbed and lifts it up to set in on the mountaintop.  He does all the heavy lifting, if only we will let him.

 

Dear God, may the power of your delight transform my soul and lift me up.  May I delight in you all the days of my life. Help me to also delight in all that you’ve made me, all that you’ve given me, and all that you’ve done for me, Lord.  Amen.

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