I decided to choose one word that the Lord might have for me to focus on for the year 2013. After praying and reflecting on the events in my life over the last year, I chose the word “delight.” Last year was a year of intense suffering and blessing for my family. When you are told that there is a 5 percent chance that your husband does not have pancreatic cancer and God chooses instead to grace the man you love with the miracle of healing, you learn to value life in a new way. You cherish the moments and treasure each day that Father gives. Through it all you learn lessons of what it means to wait and trust and place your hope in Jesus. Then you realize that He has turned your fear into faith and you learn deep lessons of what it means to delight yourself in the Lord.
When the Lord gives you the great privilege of celebrating the marriage of your daughter in God’s cathedral of the spectacular mountains of North Carolina, you rejoice in answered prayers as her father walks her down the aisle. You celebrate the treasure of gathered friends and family who have supported you for a lifetime. You delight in the hope of the life she will have with her new spouse.
When you watch your mother’s memory slowly ebb away from Alzheimer’s disease you want to take delight in the moments you have left together and ask Father to help you let go of the frustrations the disease brings to your relationship.
When you face significant changes in your ministry after 29 years, you cling to God’s grace to help you navigate the new waters and pray that He will help you face each challenge with delight because you want to be faithful where He leads you.
When you send your youngest daughter off to college 11 hours away you pray that Father will protect her because you cannot be there and you pray that as she seeks to fulfill her dreams, her greatest delight will be in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Psalm 37:4 was the verse I chose for her as she launched into her college years and now the Lord wants to weave it deeply into my own soul.
That which we take our greatest delight in, what we worship, what we spend our energy and time on is ultimately what molds us, defines us. I looked up the word for “delight” in the Hebrew and was surprised to find that the word “anag” used in this verse is found only 10 times in the Hebrew Bible. It literally means to be soft, delicate, pampered, pliable, exquisite delight, to make merry over. So it seems that David is exhorting us in this command to treat the Lord as if He is the very best. In that process of giving Him my all and seeking Him above all things the Lord conforms my heart, my mind, and my will to desire His best for my life.
Yesterday I was reading Isaiah 55:1, 2 and there was that word again!
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food. (ESV)
It’s amazing how the word delight pops up everywhere now. It turns out it is the same Hebrew word in this verse.
When the focus of my delight is the Lord - His person, His works, His Word - It is like a banqueting table to be savored, lingered over, enjoyed.
During the last week we have had two “feasts” at our home. One was last Sunday with the Restore Retreat Reunion. I loved listening to the women laugh and enjoy the Lord’s bounty at the tables. They lingered in conversation. They savored the moment. We even had a dish called “Triple Delight” for dessert! After the meal we went in to the living room for the real feast - to worship and pray and listen to His Word and what Father was doing in our lives. There was great delight in His presence with us that night.
Yesterday, my husband Ken had the men’s conference planning team for breakfast. I loved hearing them laugh and plan at the table as they ate. Then after a while all was quiet and I realized they were praying - delighting and feasting in the Lord’s presence, pouring out their hearts for the men who would come.
By the power of His Spirit, I want my life to be a reflection to the world of Jesus. To be that I must delve into the wonder and mystery of who He is and then respond to Him as my chief delight with all that I am. Why do I continue to chase after lesser things?
I must learn to rest in His character and cling to His life-giving grace. May I always hunger and thirst for more of Jesus. He is the only One who can satisfy the deepest longings and desires of my heart. Why do I so often settle for less than the banquet He has planned for me? Why do I labor for what does not satisfy?
It is my prayer that as we begin this blog of “Monday Musings” you will always find a glimpse of the Savior there and leave hungering and thirsting for more of Him. The dictionary defines musing as a product of contemplation; a thought; "an elegant tapestry of quotations.” I pray that they will be redemptive words that might lead you to the Savior and help you as we make this faith journey together.
"O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.” A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Father, help us to seek Your face, listen to Your Words of Life, and find exquisite delight in Your presence. Help us to remain pliable in Your loving hands as You shape and mold us into the men and women You have created us to be. In the days ahead may we choose to linger at the banqueting table that You have laid out for us to enjoy and there find our soul’s delight in the richest of fare, Jesus.
Resting in His love and grace,