What is it that you delight in?
It sounds like the kind of poser I’d put on my Facebook page (as I often am inclined to do), engaging food for thought. But instead, this was the question that knocked the breath out of me a few weeks ago while I was writing the blog post “Trust God as Good.” (Link to that post) There was something my Heavenly Father wanted me to know so, He inquired about my delight.
Responding With A Question
When the question was asked, I was worrying over moving my daughter across the country. I had sought comfort in the words of the Bible, writing as I went. While seeking answers, I did not expect an examination. Yet God commonly deals with me in this way.
Does this happen to you too? Do you find yourself challenged at the same time you are seeking solutions?
Does God ask you questions?
I fully intend to get to the part on delight, but there’s a rabbit trail here on God’s teaching style that is highlighted for exploration. Stick with me here, I’m venturing in….
Respectful Teaching Taught
Years ago, while studying counseling, the Professor made this statement:
“It is disrespectful to parent adults.”
This was a lightbulb moment for me. In one short sentence, I got a lot. I could immediately understand the relational conflicts between parent and teen. I saw the stubborn jaw of generational issues jut out with who do you think you are? you can’t tell me what to do.
To patronize or place yourself in a place of superiority over another adult (even your own adult child) is to say, “I do not trust you. I do not think you can succeed. I’m taking over.”
I remembered my grandfather’s spine stiffen as his son told him what was best.
On the other hand, a good question gives us opportunity to look inside ourselves with an open curiosity. A tactic that keeps defensive behavior (even denial) down. And Ah-ha moments are more impactful than my-way-or-the-highway methods.
At the time of this education revelation, the work that I was called to do, was to counsel women and help them see for themselves the areas of their lives that needed intervention. At the same time, I had a very strong-willed set of teenagers under my own roof. I had plenty of opportunity to practice this style. So, it became my goal to find ways to ask questions rather than give answers to those who sought my help. I’m still working on that.
A Leading Yet Gentle Technique
Don’t we all know that we’re failing? Do we need more than the consequences of our bad behavior to remind us of our weaknesses?
Here, my Heavenly Father was asking me a leading yet gentle question: What do you delight in? A question asked in love with motive for me to take hold of truth. This is how He parents in His children who listen.
Adam & Eve: “Where are you?”
Abraham & Sarah: “Why did Sarah laugh?
Jonah: “Do you do well to be angry?”
Crowds on the mount: “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Disciples: “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Woman caught in adultery: “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I….”
His inquiry of me, as to the object of my delight, had its desired effect as I deflated into a puddle of humility. An honest reply sounded something like, “I’m not sure it’s been You I delight in.”
So became my task to do the internal work of my heart. One question multiplied into many. Like the digestive breakdown of my lunch into countless antioxidants going off to war the disease within.
What do you mean by delight?
Can I even answer the question?
Do I delight at all?
The scripture that, weeks before, began this inquisition was from Eve’s engagement with the serpent and the ensuing grab and gulp of the fruit she saw as delight.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate….” -Genesis 3:6 ESV
From Pleasant to Covet
According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, this word delight is translated from the Hebrew word taavah (tah-av-aw’) which means desire.
The three discriptive words in this scripture, good, delight and desired, are also three separate Hebrew words. Good = pleasant, delight = want and desire = covet. It’s like a game of cold-warm-hot! The longer Eve looked at the fruit advertised as beneficial, the more deeply she craved it.
I can’t help but envision that the snake was in the tree, swinging the branch, to move that fruit into a filtered ray of heavenly sunlight. How attractive could he make it appear? It held the woman’s attention.
You know, there are things that I look at too long. Things I think I must have to be happy…or fulfilled…or to look clever. Just like the mother of man, I have tried the flavor of items billed to be good for me. I’ve bought into, time and again, stuff that is sold as the thing or the one that will solve my problems.
All those single items have added up to big disappointment and great regret. Because I was looking in the wrong direction.
The Invitation Is Always There
But the good and wise Father has treated me with respect by letting me sample everything out there, letting me suffer the consequences of my poor choices. And with years of nibbling on empty calories, I welcome His invitation to try His way again.
It’s always an ask and never a demand.
Why would He not insist? Why, like the father of the prodigal, would He allow our wandering, and the pain that it brings?
What if…what if…He has more confidence in our success…our future…than we see or comprehend? Hasn’t He said all along that He is making all things work out for our good? Could it be that our stumbling is not such a problem as we worry?
Well, Sharon, what is it that you delight in? What are you desiring?
Wealth? Well, duh.
Oh, yes please!!!
Delight Comes From Light
I like the English word delight. It evokes joy filled emotions because it is about satisfaction and pleasure. But if I break the word down literally…the prefix de means “off” or “from.” And the root light…well, that can refer to several things. Like weight (as in “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”), or illumination (“a light unto my path”), or truth (“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed”).
Does this give you chills?
Our satisfaction and pleasure comes from God because we, children of God, are of Him. We were made by Him for Him (Colossians 1:16). When we desire to be united with Him we come into our purpose, therefore feeling all the feelings of delight. Shining with His glory! Of course we would be called “the light of the world” (Matt 5:14)!
I recently read this scripture:
“Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing before Him always,
Rejoicing in His inhabited world
And delighting in the children of man.” Proverbs 8:30-31 ESV
When was the last time you delighted in the world? Not just in the beauty of creation, but in the people that live in it? This scripture might give us the key to finding satisfaction and pleasure in the life we’re living. The gateway is delight in God.
I’m awed and overwhelmed. Are you?
What better question could have been asked of me to ponder but in what do I delight?
My Delight Is In The Lord
Our Father in Heaven is looking out for us. He is desiring after us yet is waiting patiently as we mature. If only we delighted in Him more! Oh, but we can. We can keep our attention fixed on His pure and lovely offerings over the marketing of cheaper, faster, bigger, better.
Remember how, in the beginning, God told his people, You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, except this one? That’s how blessed we are. There is an abundance of really good things within the safety of His kingdom! We don’t need to look to the one thing that is labeled new and improved. He is the way because God knows our true needs and is providing for them. We simply need to filter out all voices of discontent. Not so simple, but not impossible either. Especially since we don’t need to get it right. We just need to want it…to want Him. That’s delight.
And I do.
I am delighting daily.
How? Well, that’s a post for another day 😉