Yesterday morning, Pastor Paul referred in his sermon to a statement Eric Liddell made in the movie Chariots of Fire. Liddell tells his sister at one point, “He [God] also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” In other words, he would feel God’s pleasure whenever he used his God-given gift for speed. After our service was over, I stopped to chat with my quilter friend, Janis, in the parking lot, and she remarked that when she quilts she feels his pleasure. It got me thinking, when do I experience that sense of God’s pleasure in my life?
This idea that God might take pleasure or delight in us may feel foreign. Perhaps we haven’t received our earthly father’s approval, and so we project this experience on God. In fact, our heavenly Dad longs for us to know and experience his good pleasure. According to Psalm 139, each of us are uniquely designed by God and knit together in our mother’s womb (13). Revelation 4 later informs us that God created all things for his pleasure (11). We please him–amazing, but true.
So back to the original question: When to I actually experience a sense of God’s pleasure? Almost every day, when I spend time with him. After sitting in my comfy chair, Bible and journal open on my lap, talking with him about my children or my husband, or about my worries and concerns, or about how thankful I am for something, or about how much I need his guidance, after all that, if I take a few moments to hear from him, I will sense it. I will sense his presence, sense his guidance, and sense his affection for me, his care, his love, and yes, his pleasure. A strong, good feeling will brim up inside me, and I will usually sigh. Yes, all is well with my soul; I have met with my God, my Dad.
And like Eric Liddell and my friend Janis, I also feel his pleasure at other times. When producing a lovely photograph, one that captures the essence of something or someone. Or when I am creating some piece of art whether for myself or in preparation for an art class–no matter how simple, as long as it reflects some kind of beauty and meaning. Or when I draw the loveliness out of an old vintage piece, through repair, cleaning, and painting or waxing. I feel a rightness, a joy, and a satisfaction. Sometimes I even feel God smiling with me as I gaze at my “creation.” His creation really, but he let’s me join in with him, for his good pleasure, and for mine.