DayBreaks for 6/21/16 – In the Smallest Detail, Delight

DayBreaks for 6/21/16 – In the Smallest Detail, Delight

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:

Psalms 37:23-24 (NLT) – The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

Mornings are not kind to me.  I don’t like them.  I get tired of having to shave every day.  I get tired of having to pay the bills each month.  I get tired of how fast my hair is turning a lighter shade somewhat akin to gray.  I get tired of having to pay for gasoline, of having to go through the same routines of life, day in, day out, week in, week out.  Somewhat like Solomon of old (though far less wise than he!), I can find life to be monotonous.  The myriad of details is stupefying.

What a contrast to my heavenly Father!  Psalm 37:23 says that rather than finding my life boring and dull, He delights in “every detail”.  How can I grasp this?  Is there anything in my human experience that enables me to begin to understand this intense interest and joy that He finds in my life?

Perhaps it works like this: I can sit and watch my grandchildren for hours on end.  I wouldn’t need to say a word, nor would they.  It doesn’t matter if they’re awake or asleep (although, there are times when the quiet of their sleep-filled breathing is welcome!), playing or eating, sitting or standing, jumping or rolling on the floor.  I am captivated and fascinated by them.  And I felt the same things about their parents before them – and I still do.  I could sit in a room with my kids and never say a word and be perfectly delighted just to be near them, to be able to see them.

I think that God delights in every detail of my life – and yours – in the same way.  We don’t have to be climbing Mount Everest or binding the hands of Satan for His delight to rest upon us.  He delights in watching each breath we take – whether we’re awake or asleep.  He loves to watch us eat and enjoy the flavors of the food.  He loves to watch me shave in the morning and comb my hair (subtracting in His heavenly record book the number of hairs that fall out each day!)  He loves to watch me paying the bills.  Why?  For one reason: He loves me.  He never leaves my side because He doesn’t want to miss a single event, a single miniscule detail of my life.  How do I know?  Because I’d do the same if I were Him.  I’d never have my kids or grandkids or wife or dogs out of my sight – not for an instant if I had the choice and power – not because I have to watch over and worry about their safety, but for the sheer delight of beholding them each moment of each day. 

I fear we frequently lose the wonder and delight that God put in us about life itself. 

God delights in you.  He is delighting in even the smallest parts of your life that you may think is the least significant thing you’ll do all day.  Every word.  Every detail.  Isn’t it awesome to have a Father that loves us so?

PRAYER:  What love you have poured out upon us, Father!  Help us this day to see life a bit more like You see it rather than the way we usually see it.  May this day be a majestic wonder as we take each step, breathe each breath, because we know You are watching, and You are delighted in us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 5/16/16 – The Shining Face of God

DayBreaks for 5/16/16 – The Shining Face of God

NOTE: Galen will be out of the office and traveling next week. 

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2006:

Psalms 67:1-2 (NIV) – May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, Selah that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

Scripture speaks in several places about the face of God.  We read it, but miss the tremendous meaning behind the face of God shining on us.  Let’s take a moment and consider what it means:

  1. A baby finds affirmation in the face of the parent or sibling. They like to see that smiling face above their crib, and they soon learn that if they do the right things, they bring delight to the face of the one watching, which in turn, brings delight back to the baby – they smile, laugh, and coo in response. They also eventually learn to recognize the displeasure in the face, too, when they do wrong.  We find affirmation or judgment (not sure that’s the right word to use there) in the face of the Father.  When we bring Him joy by our actions, we are filled with joy in response.
  2. The astounding, underlying fact is that this says that God pays attention to us. When we see someone’s face, they can see ours. To turn our face to someone is to give them our undivided attention, to look them in the face and be joined with them in some form of intimate connection.  As the Psalmist elsewhere says, What is man that You are mindful of him?  Or the son of man that Thou should visit him?”  It is a wonder that God should direct his face, his attention, to us.
  3. But it goes far beyond that. It says that God makes his face to “shine” upon us. This is the face of a beaming, tickled-pink, proud parent.  A baby’s first laugh, first crawling, first steps, first soccer goal, piano recital…and the list goes on…all these things make a parent’s face beam with delight and joy.  Like a groom’s face when he sees his bride appear at the end of the aisle, so God’s face beams when His gaze falls upon us – and the best thing is that His gaze is always steadily fixed upon us, never wavering!

Throughout his life, Jesus seemed to see things that the rest of us miss: the lilies of the field, a man sitting up in the branches of a sycamore tree, the blind beggar sitting by the side of the road that we’d told Jesus SAW, the possibility of a man who was more like a pile of sand being turned into a ROCK, the day when the tombs would be opened and the dead would rise.  Jesus sees with God’s eyes.  He sees US with God’s eyes.  And his face beams!

I need to take more time to try to focus on how God sees me in Christ.  I need to believe that He takes delight in ME, not just in the Mother Theresa’s or Billy Graham’s of the world.  And I need to learn to let his face shine not only upon me, but through me – that I can see others as Jesus did.

PRAYER:  Almighty God – how awesome it is to think that you see us with delight.  When our hearts are weighed down with our guilt, shame and when we look in the mirror and are disgusted by what we see, let us hear your voice of delight, and see your face of approval and love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 10/24/13 – Alive and Living

DayBreaks for 10/24/13 – Alive and Living

1377312_10151904732386904_1761262919_nJohn 3:36 (NLT)  And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.

Some time ago I saw a story about an Army veteran, John Crabtree, who’d had been receiving benefits from the government. Evidently he had been wounded in Vietnam and was now on permanent disability. One day, out of the blue, he received an official notification from the government of his own death. Needless to say, this was quite a shock to Mr. Crabtree!

Mr. Crabtree wrote the government a letter stating that he was indeed very much alive and would like to continue receiving his benefits. The letter did no good. He then tried calling the government. (Have you ever tried to call the government? This required the patience of Job and the persistence of Noah!) The phone calls didn’t change the situation either. Finally, as a last resort, the veteran contacted a local television station, which ran a human-interest story about his situation.

During the interview, the reporter asked him, “How do you feel about this whole ordeal?” The veteran chuckled and said, “Well, I feel a little frustrated by it. After all, have you ever tried to prove that you’re alive?”

That’s a pretty good question for all of us. Could you prove that you are alive? Really, genuinely, deep-down alive? The passage from John 3:36 says that we have eternal life – in the present tense, at the present time.  We are also told that we who are in Jesus have life, and we are supposed to have it more abundantly than ever before!!!!

When was the last time you had an alive moment? Not the last time you took a breath or had your heart beat inside your chest, but the last time you felt yourself alive to your living, alive to your loving, deeply present with the gift of life itself?  Life is a gift from God.  He doesn’t give bad gifts.  He gives life.  We have to choose whether we will go out and live it the way He wants us to live it – filled with joy, delight, wonder and awe for this great gift with which we have been entrusted!  – Adapted from R. Scott Colglazier, Finding a Faith That Makes Sense, St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1996, 116-117.

PRAYER: What a precious gift you have given us – to live, to enjoy sunshine and rain, beauty and music, the simple delights of each day!  I know that I often take such things for granted.  I ask for the sheer joy to live life that delights You and those I meet! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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