Ask Jake what he loves most about being in Oregon and he will not hesitate to share his favorite delight. Jake loves being with his grandparents.
On Mother’s Day, Jake beamed. For the first time in 15 years, Jake enjoyed this special holiday with his grandmother, John’s mom. For nearly 84% of Jake’s life, our family has celebrated Mother’s Day outside of the United States – far, far, far away from Jake’s grandmothers. Jake couldn’t have been more pleased than to share this special day with his wonderful grandma. He loves her to bits!
Very soon, Jake will be spending the night at his grandparents, my mom and dad’s home. Once again, Jake is bursting with joy at the thought of being in his grandparents’ presence for a significant amount of time. His heart is captivated by the love, the care, and the assurance his grandparents give him – generously, unreservedly, unconditionally. Jake is delighted by this sweet opportunity.
Here’s a question.
How often do we use the word ‘delight’ in our day to day lives?
What types of things, what kinds of people, what sorts of places bring us delight?
In light of our times – COVID-19, protest actions against injustice, rioting and looting mayhem, a severe and serious economic downturn, disappointment and setback, mental, emotional, and physical challenges, isolation and more – have you even considered the important and needed action of discovering something delightful and life-giving in your day?
There is a mountain-load of pain in our world. It’s nearly unimaginable how we can pull ourselves up, out, and beyond its substantial, consequential mass to seek joy. In recent months, buried sorrow and pain have erupted from hearts which have endured lifetimes of repression, loss, and betrayal.
What do we do with it all of these hard-to-put-to-word feelings?
How do we cope with our own struggles and yet, deal with what we’re hearing from the distressed, aggrieved, ill, and troubled among us?
The first thing we must do is address the issues of struggle in our own lives. If we aren’t healthy – physically, emotionally, mentally, or physically – we are not going to be much help to others. To attempt to give care when we’re feeling afraid, lost, alone, depressed, angry, overwhelmed or ill will only weaken us more.
We need to do some self-care.
Self-care is about taking necessary and important steps to feel healthy and comfortable and to develop greater strength and resiliency in life. Self-care can help us cope with the short- and long-term effects of a trauma, grief, and loss. The past few months have brought plenty of losses – especially in areas of our life that have traditionally brought us great joy.
For Caleb and Jake, spending time with their grandparents is a blessing in their lives beyond compare. For weeks, due to the shelter-in-place restrictions, these two could not visit their grandparents. Even though our family was staying mere miles away from our grandparents, COVID-19 restrictions prevented us from seeing them. And that hurt. A lot. Especially so because our family has lived in South Africa for most of our children’s lives. When we are in the United States, time with grandparents is like precious gold.
So, an important step to take for our sons is to ensure they have time with their grandparents – while we are still in the United States.
We are going to help them seek out and experience more moments of delight.
In fact, we’re making it a challenge!
In Scripture, we read:
Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
New International, Psalm 111:2
Delight comes from the Hebrew transliterated word chaphets. Chaphets means to take great pleasure in, to be pleased by, to take delight in, to have joy, to be satisfied, and enchanted and charmed by some moment, some person, some place, or some thing.
When was the last time we were utterly delighted?
I’ve decided to challenge my family and my mission team in South Africa to take a week to discover some sweet delights in each day. For our family, we will share the delights we discover over dinner. For our mission team, we will have a ZOOM call for our Prayer-Care-Share time, and we will share the delights we recognized in our week, too.
Again, much has been lost in recent weeks – many sweet delights – and it is time to seek them out and find them again!
To admire the strength and integrity of a friend
To find pleasure in the daily growth of a strawberry patch
To experience joy in hiking atop a mountain
To worship in freedom
To be charmed by the sweet laughter of children
To revel in the strong work of reconciliation
To be touched by the grace and mercy of God
To be delighted with embracing, unifying love
To hear a confident, strengthening word from a friend
To hug long
To love well
To find delight after delight after delight
There is great pleasure and joy as we contemplate the works of nature, the blessings of family and friends, the incredible moments of life, and how the Lord truly works all things together for the good of us all. Our God is merciful and grace-giving. Even now. Even when things appear so out of control and so hard. He is a God of great delights.
Would you like to turn things around in your life and take some time to discover joyful delights in your day?
This isn’t about doing something. Baking cookies for someone does make us feel happy and fulfilled. Taking a long, hot shower brings refreshment. A desperately needed haircut offers a fresh, new look. These actions are delightful. Sure.
However, what I’m attempting to help us attend to in life is about taking notice of something more. I am encouraging us to seek, find, discover, and contemplate the sweet, precious moments that are near and allow these wondrous blessings of God to permeate our hearts and minds.
For when we find these delights, we shall experience a sweet, strengthening love that is meant solely for us! Just like the pleasing feeling Jake and Caleb are experiencing when they are in the presence of their grandparents!
It is joy materialized in a moment!
Truly. The works of God are meant to be fully experienced and fully enjoyed – demonstrating the wisdom, power, love, and delight of God. Regardless of our current situation, these amazing works are calling out to us to be found!
God’s works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!
Are you ready, then?
Have I piqued your interest for hunting out some soul-satisfying delights this week?
My family, my team and I are on the hunt for joy-filled delights!
Will you seek with us?
For me, here is a delight I keep discovering on Facebook as one region after another sings “The Blessing.” To see a diverse group of people come together to sing over their city, region, country, and world, in unity and praise, blesses me. I find this expression of song truly delightful!
Take a listen if you would like to be filled with the wonder of delight: