What makes you happy? What delights you? I’m a pretty happy person most of the time, so I guess I could say that a lot of things make me happy. But what about delight? The idea of being delighted about something or taking delight in something (or someone) is a far stronger idea than just being happy about it.

Something that delights me? A good book. I know that’s nerdy but it’s true. I love a story with a twist I didn’t see coming. A good example is the book I just finished reading, Adam by Ted Dekker. Yeah. Amazing. And, of course, delightful. The story itself was great, but when this twist came along, I just couldn’t stop grinning.

Something else that delights me? Watching the teens I worked with in youth group growing up and serving God, not because their parents bring them to church all the time but because they want to. I can list the teens who are actively serving God right now, and every time I see them, I just feel all bubbly inside.

Being delighted about something or someone is an incredible sensation. It’s hard to describe in words. But first, you have to have a great deal of love for what you’re delighted about before you can even think about taking delight in it. I love stories. I love plot twists. And I love high school students. But I don’t love them because I take delight in them; I take delight in them because I love them.

So when I read the verse of the day this morning, this is what it made me think of.

Zephaniah 3:17

17 For the Lord your God is living among you.
      He is a mighty savior.
   He will take delight in you with gladness.
      With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
      He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

God takes delight in us.

I don’t think we really understand how incredible that is. I mean, if I were God I would take delight in the galaxies that I made or all the different fish in the sea or all the different plants and processes I created and put in place. I wouldn’t take delight in humans. Why would He take delight in us? Why would He love us first, above everything else that He made? We’re the ones who have wrecked the world He gave us. We’re the ones who dishonor Him and turn our backs on Him. We’re the ones who blame Him unjustly for the probelms we’ve brought on ourselves. If I were God, I wouldn’t want anything to do with me.

So I’m very glad I’m not God. Aren’t you? =)

I just can’t wrap my head around how anyone could take delight in me. I have failed so many times. I’ve failed other people, I’ve failed myself, I’ve failed God even. But He keeps giving me more chances to get back on track — not to prove myself (because God doesn’t want me to prove anything to Him) but to live for Him, more chances to experience His blessing, more chances to trust Him with everything that’s important to me, more opportunities to stretch my faith longer and deeper.

I am speechless that anyone could love me that much. Knowing that God really does take delight in me — not in my potential, not in my actions, but in me as a person — is life-changing, mind-altering, earth-shaking. And it helps me remember that whatever He does, He does for a reason.

Maybe things aren’t going the way I want them to. Maybe my life isn’t what I wanted it to be. Maybe I want things to happen that haven’t happened yet. But behind all the things I want and dream and expect, God is in control. He knows what He’s doing, and He loves me. There are days I don’t feel His love, but those are the days I have to believe in what I know to be true because my emotions and feelings are just as broken as the rest of the world.

Behind every dark place in my life, the truth remains that God loves me. And because He loves me, He takes delight in me. And it’s not for anything that I’ve said or done. It’s not for any dubious beauty that I possess. It’s not for the promises I’ve made Him or anything I’ve given Him or anything I might do or become for Him in the future. It’s because He has chosen to love me. So, in gratitude, I choose to love Him back.

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