When my three brothers and I were little, we would get so excited when Mom or Dad would stop what they were doing to watch our latest “feat.” Like what? you may ask. Oh, amazing things like a basketball shot we finally mastered, tricks off the diving board, a dance move, a bike trick . . . The thing was we often didn’t get it right the first, second, or third time we tried for them. So, more than once, we’d ask (or plead), “Wait; can I start over?! . . . “Hold on; let me try again! . . . I’ll get it right this time!”
Whatever our final performance looked like, their facial expression, words, or clapping showed us their delight. Looking back, I don’t think their delight was mainly about what we were doing. We knew their pleasure for who we are to them. When our children were little, they called us to watch them, too. Whatever they presented was fun to see, but mostly we enjoyed them and our relationship.
God enjoys you and me. He takes pleasure in us because we are His. Do you know the experience of enjoying God’s pleasure in you?
“For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” (Psalm 149.4)
I lived a lot of years thinking that God’s pleasure was earned according to my performance. (You can read more on this theme in my book, Becoming A Peaceful Mom.) God takes pleasure in us simply because He made us. We can experience His pleasure through relationship with him, even as we struggle through our ugly stuff, weaknesses, and times when we’re distant from Him.
Relationship with God is not a daily performance—to say or do something right. God is not watching for how we perform, to only then express His pleasure if we behave well.
Relationship with God is a daily partnership of the heart. He is always very near to us. We can decide daily to draw near to Him–or not. When we make time to read God’s Word, we demonstrate that we want to know Him, and He instills understanding for how committed He is to relationship with us. When we pray—praise, confess, thank, ask, listen—we partner with God. We practice depending on Him and experience how dependable He is.
The more we know God and spend time with Him, the fact of His pleasure in us captures our heart as real and true—and awe for such grace overwhelms. He knows we’ll mess up, and He forgives us. We practice heart partnership, one hour at a time. Through each right-step, misstep, humility step, and faith-step, God shapes, loves, and reveals His pleasure in us.
Thank you, God, that I am not a human project for your evaluation. Help me grasp Your tender love and pleasure in me and enjoy our relationship, which you created me for. In Jesus’ name, Amen.