“God delights in us.” We say it a lot at Highlands Church because we really believe it. But something happened last week that made me realize I may use the phrase a little too casually. I am not always bearing in mind what a sparkling emotion is being described by the word “delight.”

God delights in us. That is not another way of saying “God loves us.” Surely it is loving delight but they are not synonyms.

Delight came around to me last weekend and reminded me what a peculiar and lovely emotion it is and why it means so much to say “God delights in us.”

Our 10-year old grandson has been on a junior basketball team this winter. He is the youngest on the team and one of the shortest at this point. It’s the first time he’s really played the game so he has had a steep learning curve. There are some kids in the league a head and shoulders taller than him with mad skills already.

Their team tied for last place and the last game was last Saturday. Our grandson was more of an observer for many of the games, even when he was on the court. If he got the ball it was a like a hot potato to him so he passed it to someone else as fast as he could.

With each game, he had a little more contact with the ball than the week before, but he had yet to take a shot at the basket. On their last game, his whole team seemed to take everything up a notch if only by the energy of their efforts. They were really, really trying to score during this last game.

To all our surprise, his team stole the ball at one point and took it down court. Then, lo and behold, one of his teammates passed him the ball when he was between the free throw and the three-point line. And it was his shot. There was no defender in front of him. I don’t know what went through his mind but instead of passing the ball away as quickly as possible, he took the shot; the shot that felt like it lingered in the air at least a minute or two; and then SWOOSH, nothing but net!

There are many words I could use to describe what that magic moment felt like, but “delight” is my best choice. Seeing what he’d overcome, that he trusted himself enough to try, and then that sound of the solid two points? I was delighted in him, with him, and for him. It was a powerful reminder of what it means when we say, “God delights in us”. Sometimes we make God giddy!

Nothing but love,
Mark