Today’s Scripture: Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
As I drove along one of the main avenues through Eau Claire this morning, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of joy. It started with a simple glance at a restaurant. Now before you jump to conclusions about my dysfunctional relationship with food, the joy I was feeling was the product of memories of many experiences with my wife at that restaurant years ago. I haven’t been in that eating establishment for a long time, but the memories of times spent with my wife brought a huge sense of delight to my heart.
Try something right now. Say the word DELIGHT out loud. Now say it again…and again. Great word isn’t it? It just rolls off the tongue and produces a smile as you say it. As you say it you there are memories and feelings being generated in your mind and heart. You are leaning into those thoughts right now, aren’t you? They feel good. They are a breath of fresh air in the midst of a polluted set of circumstances surrounding you. Enjoy them!
The word delight is of Latin origin, and means to charm. In the Bible, as in Psalm 1:2, the Hebrew word means to incline towards. In other words, to take delight in something means to be so charmed by it that you lean into it.
That’s what happened to me this morning. I was so charmed by the memories of time spent with my wife that I leaned into them. I actually called her and thanked her for making my life so delightful.
After my phone conversation ended, I began to wonder why I didn’t experience more delight in my life. The answer was instantly clear. It’s because I am looking for delight in the wrong place. Maybe you are too.
One place we look for delight is in relationships, hoping we can surround ourselves with people who are delightful so it will rub off on us and ease our pain. Trouble is, they tend to only be delightful when they agree with us, so we avoid people who challenge us.
Maybe we look for delight in our work. When think that if we get recognized as successful we can finally have some delight.
It’s possible that we search for delight in possessions. If we can look around at all the stuff we own, and the quality of our home, we can feel delighted.
Or is it the reality that we want the circumstances of our lives to be charming, and if they aren’t, we have no reason lean into them.
All of the above things can produce a sense of delight, albeit short-lived and unsatisfying. But the Psalmist knew the secret to living a delightful life. Blessed is the man who…delights in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.
Imagine this. Something unexpected happens to you. It’s outside the box of your control. It’s painful. It hurts. Would you dare to think that you could respond with a statement like this?
How delightful is God, who knows my way and what I need. I am a tree planted by streams of water, yielding the fruit of righteousness, and my leaves will not wither in this drought of emotional distress.
If your delight is in what flows* from the heart of God, then you can take delight in Him regardless of what is happening. You can be delightful even when everything around you isn’t. Now that’s good news!
*Flows – this is the root meaning of the Hebrew word for law. The law, or precepts of God (Hebrew is torah), flow from His heart and are pointed at us for our delight.