Monday, December 16, 2013

Is God Forced into It?



Mustached or hoodie-wrapped college guys with large gulp sodas fling male laughter loud across the kitchen table behind me. My husband and some guy friends study complicated game boards and maneuver dozens of wooden game tokens. Our Christmas tree blinks blue, red, yellow, skipping green because of a faulty bulb somewhere in the line.

Mens' voices murmur low behind me, clarifying rules, working out turn sequences cautiously since this is a new game. The handbook comes out often as they wonder about rule interpretations, but the camaraderie is evident, stable. Laughter is frequent, and their enjoyment in each other is obvious.

Pulling my Bible across my lap earlier today at work, some verses grabbed my attention, and I read them again and again, smiling in the silence.

"...The Lord takes delight in his people..." (Psalm 149:4a)

"The Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love." (Psalm 147:11)

We have a Creator God who delight in us, who likes us, enjoys us, savors us. He's not just forced into loving us because he's God; he actually likes us too.

I picture the way I feel about my kids, crouching low to snuggle my five year old, kissing his soft cheek; or the way I lean in to my tall man-child's shoulder now as we hug, he bending down to hug his small mom, both a son and a protective man at the same time. And my daughter, her willowy frame is taller than me, and we laugh and hug as near equals in size, and I breathe in the scent of her hair. I delight in them, savoring them, no matter the mood of the day. 

Our Artist God delights in you. The one who breathes stars, calling them out by name, knows your name too and he is delighted with you. 

You, God, "you open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing" (Psalm 145:16).

You are "righteous in all your ways, and loving towards all you have made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them" (Psalm 145:17-19.

"The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love. 
The Lord is good to all,
he has compassion on all he has made" (Psalm 145:8,9).

Behind me, the table is crowded with male shoulders, elbows, and testosterone as the games heat up. Conversations and jokes dash diagonally as they take their turns. Whatever the result, whatever smack talk happens this week, they'll be back to play games again another day.

And their enjoyment in each other pales in comparison to how their Creator God feels about them.

 And how he feels about you and me. Smiling with you, friend. He delights in you. 

What have you been reading this week? (Those in email can click here to join the conversation.) 

Photo Credit #1: Chess, by PJM. 

Photo credit #2: Poker, Camp McKibbin, 1893, by PJM. 

8 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles...pretty cool to have those guys to pal around with and play games...find community with...

and delight in and savor are such rich words...probably some of the best we can come up with in how the lord feels but in the end i am sure fall far short in fully describing it...smiles.

merry christmas to you and your family....

Jennifer Dougan said...

Brian,

He is thankful for them too, and loves those times of games and conversation.

Yes, that God savors us, delights in us... wow! Unbelievable.

Merry Christmas,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

rainydayinmay.com said...

I think in the chaos of life, bills, responsibilities, marriage, parenting and adulthood it's pretty easy to forget (at least for me) that God delights in me... or maybe it's that I know me and so that idea seems preposterous... Thanks for the simple reminder!

Floyd said...

It's awesome to think that our Father delights in us. We can't begin to grasp the power and depth of that Love, but it's amazing to ponder. Thanks for the reminder, Jennifer.

Jayne said...

I love the New Living Translation of Psalm 37:23
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives."
In every detail! How awesome is that! From the smallest to the biggest, in every detail He delights!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Rainydayinmay,

Oh I agree, and that he delights in us, and loves us unconditionally. Yes, even knowing our brokenness, too.

What a God.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com



Jennifer Dougan said...

Floyd,

Amazing to ponder, yes!

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Jayne,

Oh what a nice verse version. "He delights in every detail of their lives."

Merry Christmas,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com