by Caryl Moll
There have been many ‘turn around’ times in my life – where I have been prompted to refocus on my Lord. They’ve been times to re-examine what it means to be a ‘Child of God’: times for some serious introspection.
I’m not talking about the first step to becoming a Christian – when we surrender our life to the will of God and accept Jesus as our savior (John 3:16). Rather, I’m talking about the deeper meaning for committed Christians in our daily walk with Jesus.
I remember a very pertinent sermon in the early 2000’s (given by our dear Mervyn) where we were encouraged to “Delight in the Lord…” (Ps 37). At the time, I was relatively new to this whole ‘Christian thing’ and spent days pondering what this verse and instruction really meant. How was I supposed to apply it? What did it mean to DELIGHT? Biblical references were in short supply in our home at the time, and we didn’t have “Google”. My next best option was to start with the dictionary:
“Take pleasure” it said.
But what did that mean? How do I ‘take pleasure’ in God?
At the time, I resolved to ‘simply enjoy my life’ knowing that God was in control. Perhaps I could understand the many talents He’d given me. What was God’s intention with me? What was my purpose in His Kingdom”? Did he, indeed, want to use me in some way?
One day, I was looking at my unused piano. “That’s where I can start”, I thought. I have always been a goal-driven/analytical person, so I embarked on a path of returning to formal lessons in search of ‘Delight’. As the months passed, I considered re-doing all my piano exams. I thought to myself, “I have fingers and talent, so PLAY! Let’s see how God can use me.”
The four years that followed were rather arduous and I was none the wiser “if” God really wanted to use me at all. All the time, however, I remained constantly aware of the Biblical instruction: “DELIGHT yourself in the Lord…”
Eventually, after numerous exams and up to five hours of practicing a day, I suddenly found my fingers doing their own thing… They were rattling up and down the keyboard in a blur. Was this DELIGHT? I felt like an observer in this process, not yet a full participant. Somewhat surreal.
I have always admired pianists that can shut their eyes and ‘let their fingers do the talking’. They have a God-given ability to translate themselves into their music – like dancers. As the months passed, I noticed a subtle change in my own playing. The more I asked God to be with me at the piano, the more the music translated in passion and expression. I felt my fingers dancing. I even started to sing as I played (something I’ve never been comfortable with) It felt like God’s joy was feeding into me. I found myself praying while playing – talking to God and thanking Him for this special moment we shared together.
And another transition happened too…I started to experience personal JOY away from the piano. My step was lighter during the day too. I felt an exuberance for my life and what I was doing; a celebration; a glorious expression of wonder and gratitude. For the first time I was able to internalize exactly what ‘DELIGHT’ was…and this was for my God and the life I was leading. I discovered that it was being amplified as He “delighted’ in me too. Amazing!
One evening, I was drawn back to Psalm 37. For some strange reason, I’d never actually studied it properly – I was merely going on what I had been told. It says:
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
How had I missed it? “…and he will give you the desires of your heart.” How had I overlooked this promise? It was God that knew what was best for me – not the other way around!
For the first time in my Christian walk, I realized what it meant to really entrust my emotions to the Lord – to DELIGHTFULLY surrender to Him. If I did that, He promised to nurture the desires of my heart. It was a wonderful, beautiful life lesson – a pathway to the JOY I desperately desired and which I employ to this day.
DELIGHT should be a way of life. It grants a special kind of freedom in all we do. If we truly believe that “God has got it” then surely we can put the unnecessary worry and angst of life aside. We can experience God in the simple, everyday events. He’s there when we say ‘Good morning!’ He’s there when we begin our work. He’s there in our conversations, our provision, our health. HE’S ALWAYS THERE!
When things get too much, we can opt to simply DELIGHT in God because He is with us; watching; guiding; nurturing; protecting; loving us. Let’s celebrate Him! Let’s keep our focus on Him. Let’s allow him to excite us and prompt us to His goals, not ours! This is the way of Gratitude, Thankfulness, Praise and DELIGHT! Let’s put ‘the desires of our heart’ firmly in our amazing God’s hand.
Let’s forge ahead in DELIGHT!
With love, in Christ