AFTERNOON DELIGHT

How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. [Psalm 111:2-3 (NLT)]

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! [Philippians 4:4 (NLT)]

geiger treeAfter finishing our walk, I told my husband to go on to the car while I got a few shots of the blossoms on the Geiger tree by the park entrance. Once done and on my way to the parking lot, I saw him sitting quietly in the gazebo. When I disturbed his reverie with a touch on the shoulder, he looked up and said, “I was just enjoying Him.” I knew exactly what he meant.

There are plenty of things Scripture tells us to do: to love God and to hear, follow, worship, and obey Him. We’re also told to put our hope in Him, rest in Him, have faith in Him, glorify Him and honor Him with our lives. We are to seek, work for and fear the Lord and to cast our cares on Him. We are also told to delight in Him—not just delight in his word, works, and gifts but in Him!

That morning, my husband was delighting in God: enjoying quiet time in God’s company. He was enjoying God’s presence the way two old friends might—sitting on a park bench together, quietly enjoying one another’s company in the sun. I’d been so intent on getting a picture that I hadn’t even enjoyed the bright orange flowers God had placed on that tree. By not taking the time to appreciate God’s richness, I’d missed a moment to enjoy Him. Although I had a nice photograph, my husband’s time was better spent than mine.

While my husband is a good sitter, I’m more of a doer. The problem with being a doer is that doers often miss delighting in the Lord. Not long ago, downtown for lunch and a matinee, we ended up with extra time before the show. Since there was a concert in a park near the playhouse, we stopped to listen to the band before going on to the theater. My husband settled quite comfortably on a park bench but I, being a doer, spotted a woodpecker in a nearby tree, got out my camera, and tried to get a good shot of the bird. Frustrated by bad light conditions and the bird’s lack of cooperation, I finally gave up and joined my husband. It was only when I stopped doing that I started enjoying—not just the busy bird, but also the music, the breeze, and the young families walking by on their way to the playground. Most of all, by pausing, I delighted in the Lord’s presence.

One of God’s many gifts to us is the capacity to enjoy or take delight in such things as work, people, family, nature, exercise, music, art and, best of all, Him. Let’s not get so caught up in busyness that we miss doing just that. Although David yearned for never-ending fellowship with God in the temple, we can have that fellowship anywhere, even on a park bench on a Sunday afternoon. This week, take the time to sit and do nothing but delight in the Lord.

The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. [Psalm 27:4 (NLT)]

Be still, and know that I am God! [Psalm 51:10a (NLT)]

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