Last year I was introduced to a slightly different concept, though, of choosing a word for the year. I did something similar several years ago, when I decided to pray through I Corinthians 13:4-7 for the year, focusing on how to love my family and others. That was transformational to my relationships.
The word that kept returning to me this winter was: Delight.
Do we really take time to delight in God?
We might serve him, strive to obey him, worship him, read his word, seek him, follow him...but do we delight? Scripture is FULL of references to delighting in God and rejoicing in him, so if this is not often a focus...why not?
Maybe we don't stop to dwell, meditate, revel in the amazing mystery that God delights in us. Hebrews 12:2 says Christ died for the joy set before him. Zephaniah 3:17 says he takes great delight in us, that he rejoices over us with singing.
When you hear "For God so loved the world..." do you hear delight? Do you think of yourself as the apple of his eye? (Psalm 17:8) Is the cross a source of increasing joy for you, or has it become bland, boring, leaving you with wondering what else there is to know about God?
I am finding, the cross is all. The cross is the deepest well that we can't even begin to comprehend, but oh, the joy he intends for us there.
At times in my life, I didn't understand the cross or sense delight there. It seemed like a place of personal humiliation where God rubbed my face in my failures, instead of a place where I could be fed, healed, loved, and rejoiced over. It was the place where I saw deep and never-ending disappointment in Jesus’ eyes, instead of a place where he looked at me with delight, a place where I could grow in an intimate relationship with him.
He paid it all, and his grace will heal all.
Instead of continuing to joyfully meet him at the cross where we are cherished, I was pridefully trying to live without him--to live without sinning, not because it glorifies God, not out of thankfulness, but out of an attempt to avoid personal failure. I wanted to grow out of my need for forgiveness--in a sense, to outgrow my need for Christ. How foolish that sounds when put into words! I would never have really thought that was what I was doing.
To be in need every day, every hour…that’s painful to pride. Unless...
Unless the cross is transformed for us. Unless we see the delight in his eyes. Unless it becomes for us that place where we are indeed fed, healed, loved, cherished, rejoiced over.
So this year, my word is Delight. Delighting in God. Delighting in him delighting in me. Delighting in his people--another topic for another day!
Come, he beckons us to walk with him in the cool of the day.