This is a word that many have talked about in relation to our Christian walk. John Piper has spent time explaining it and wrote an entire book on it. Randy Alcorn alluded to it in his book Happiness. Yet, I believe there is much more to say about it. It is a word that emotes only positive feelings and a heightened sense of euphoria. When a baby is born, delight would be a good word to use for how most feel. When you graduate from college or finish a race or get married, delight would be the most appropriate word for how you felt.
I believe that Jesus demonstrated delight moment by moment. In fact, if all of us were in a room and he walked in, we would be struck by his charismatic smile and warmth. The reason would be that he would not see any of our weaknesses or sins; he would delight in each of us. He would look into our soul and we would smile with our own delight with the love He had for us.
I have been researching the experience of delight for over a year in anticipation of writing a book that helps people understand the feeling and how to practice what Jesus has aptly demonstrated throughout His walk on earth. Recently I met someone who demonstrates the delight of Jesus in some ways that defy logic. 30 years ago she experienced a freak accident by a dentist who damaged a nerve in her jaw. She has lived with excruciating pain in her face ever since. She keeps a mint in her mouth most of the day to distract her from the pain. She walks a lot, hikes and generally moves around to get above the pain, but the pain is persistent. She has to put ice packs on her face to ease some of the pressure. Having relationships is hard because pain does not enjoy partners nor does it relieve the angst of dealing with it.
Why would I tell you this story? Because what I am going to tell you next is going to demonstrate more powerfully than anything I have ever seen the grace that God gives us to get above our own issues to love others like Jesus did. My friend is a caretaker. She takes on people who may be in assisted care or who need extra help living and takes them to the pool or walks with them or simply entertains them. I have listened to her talk about these people and some are difficult and unappreciative, but somehow, with all the pain she is in, she rises above their rudeness and treats them with love and affection and interest. She has an amazing ability to open them up to talking to her and reveal deep secrets. She is so interested in them that they become life friends and truly do love her.
Now you might say that is remarkable and a true blessing. But I am not done. I have observed her talking to perfect strangers with the same interest and love. She walked into a restaurant and while walking past a couple of elderly women, she stopped to talk to them and discover who they were and what they were doing and to simply open them up to conversation. It was an amazing thing to see and I have to remind myself she is doing that despite the enormous pain she lives with. She rarely passes anyone without a friendly warm smile and words of affection. I have observed onlookers with a very curious look on their face as if they were seeing a strange phenomenon. Someone bumped into her when she was in line for some pie, and the response she gave them so shocked them that they could not help but overflow with praise at her response. Her response was tears.
I tell you this story of this amazingly holy woman to demonstrate how delight can be manifested despite our circumstances. My friend has had such an effect on me that I am now so aware of all those around me and make it a point to say something that will make them laugh or I simply show interest in them. It should be so much easier for me since I do not have the pain she has, but I have to consciously think about it. How sad. I hope that I can make it a habit. Maybe someday someone else will model me and so goes God’s grace. I think Jesus would be pleased.
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.