When I was a little girl, I loved pretending to be a bride. I’d wrap a sheet around my body, drape a towel over my head, and hold a bouquet of plastic flowers to my chest. Then I would start at one end of the hallway in our ranch-style house and saunter down the “aisle.” In my little mind, all eyes were on me as my sheet became a pearl-studded wedding gown, my towel a lace veil, and the bouquet a spray of white roses.
My Uncle Ernest understood the longings of little girls to be a bride, so for Christmas one year, he gave me a two-foot-tall doll dressed in full bridal regalia. Along with her white wedding gown and netlike veil, she had cropped, curly brown hair that felt as real as my own, soft plump skin that squished when I squeezed her, and moveable eyelids lined with thick black lashes.
Her eyes opened and closed with her changing positions so that when she lay in her box, she resembled Sleeping Beauty just waiting to be kissed. Her perfectly shaped lips were small and dainty, and her crystal-blue eyes appeared strangely real.
But there was one problem with this delightful gift. Because she was so expensive, my mother wouldn’t allow me to play with her.
“You’ll have to wait until you are older,” she explained. “She’s too nice to play with. You might tear her gown. We’ll just keep her in the box until you’re old enough to know how to take care of her.”
So the bride doll remained in her box, safely stowed away in the bottom dresser drawer. Day after day, I slowly opened the drawer and stole a peek at my doll as she lay sleeping inside the drawer like a treasure in a safety deposit box. Sometimes I removed the box lid and gently stroked her pink skin, but I knew if I ever took her out of the box and played with her, I would be in big trouble. As time passed, I forgot about the bride doll in the drawer, and today, I don’t even know what became of her.
I am sure the doll’s fate was never my Uncle’s intent when he gave her to me. I imagine he envisioned me spending hours and hours playing with her, pretending with her, and enjoying her. As a matter-of-fact, had he known the doll lived in the bottom dresser drawer, I think he would have been sorely disappointed.
Oh friend, have we done the same with the greatest gift of all time—Jesus? Have we accepted the gift of the gospel and then stored it away in a drawer for safekeeping? [Tweet this] Have we put Jesus on display, but neglected or refused to enjoy Him? Have we made the gospel into a religion in a box rather than a relation in the heart?
Shorter Catechism, written by the Westminster Assembly in 1647, states, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
Enjoy God! The only way to enjoy God is by being in His presence, by making Acts 17:28, in Him we live and move and have our being, a present reality. Glory moments will not be found in a boxed-up religion but in a budding relationship. [Tweet this]
What does God want from us? Some say that He wants obedience and sacrifice—that He wants us to stick to the rulebook and color in the lines.
Others say that God wants us to be happy and victorious in all things.
None of that is necessarily wrong, but it is not the greatest desire of God’s heart. What He longs for, more than anything, is for you to be in relationship with Him. He wants your heart. He wants you to enjoy Him, to love Him, to join Him in intimacy as you live and move and have your being in Him.
So here’s the question: Are you enjoying your relationship with God? Laughing with Him? Singing with Him? Dancing with Him? Leaning in and telling Him your secrets?
Give it a try? Enjoy being in His presence today!
Leave a comment and tell me one of the ways that you Enjoy God.
CONGRATULATIONS to Lisa Hicks who is the winner of the 2 Starbucks gift cards from the random drawing of comments from my last post! One for her and one to share.
Want to learn more about how to experience God in your daily life? In the spin of the laundry and the sizzle of the bacon? To soothe the “glory ache” with more of His presence? A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More can help you get there.
what a beautifully written post and such a waste that you never got to actually play with your doll. It can be so easy to sideline Jesus, but every cloud, sunset, bird chirping, remind me oh Him. I enjoy His creation. The beauty and detail and that He gave me a heart to notice little things. In all of creation He loves me. Thank you for reminding me to enjoy God and the peace that can only come from Him. Sammie x
When you were a child and you skinned your knee you go crying to your mother, she picks you up and the first thing she does is brushes the wound clean and kisses the skinned knee. She then takes you into her arms and looks at you with these beautiful caring eyes and begins to wipe your tears streaming down your face and tells you, you’re ok I am here, Momma’s here-right then you stop crying and just relax in the warmth of her love!
As we all have trials and tribulations in life and from adversity like when a child we go to our loving father we tell him, we praise him, we ask him for guidance, Daily he carries us shows us warmth and love us so we can carry on thru our day!
My life is more fulfilled than I could’ve ever imagined with more conversations, questions, and thanksgivings to God through out my daily coming and goings!!!Morning Blessing: May you pause long enough to ponder what God is saying to you in this place amidst the not-yets and the what-ifs. Do you hear His whisper to be still and trust Him? May you dare to dream big dreams in the face of your fears. May you have the courage to hold your ground when you’d rather run and hide. And may you have the faith to entrust your heart’s desires to a God who is very much involved, very much in control, and very much invested in your life. Remember who you are. Remember Whose you are. Don’t lose perspective. Lay hold of faith. Have a blessed, soul-reviving day.
How to please God: Psalm 147:11 The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love……help me delight you today Lord….
I drive a lot for my job. I often share the beauty of the countryside with Him, thanking Him for giving me such pretty pictures.
As I read this it brought back that doll simular to the one described. But I remember giving one to my children and watching them playing with it and not sure whatever happened to it.
But the part of this message is not about the doll, but my relationship with God. I’m in a place of trying to find that intimacy we had together. I guess you could say, I tucked him in from parts of my life and not praying it through or trusting in areas, I’m sure somone can relate.
But my hearts desire is to find that again and trust that his mercy is new every morning and that his love has not changed for me and I’m still his special daughter.
My family is torn apart and the waiting wilderness is hard..I just want that joy back I once had, to feel I’m doing his will and so on.
Thank you for your time and love to share with us.
Bless you and your ministry.
I like this topic Enjoying God and experiencing His presence. I grew up in a very legalistic home where rules and conditional love was the “normal”. But when I became a Christian I experienced freedom and peace that I had never known. Over the years after back-sliding and leaving God on the sidelines I left Peace and real Love for Imitation. Thank God I didn’t have to stay there! God meant me at my point of need and Lavished on me His Love which I accepted wholeheartedly. Now to Live in His presence in an Honor and yes an Enjoyable journey. Thanks for the teaching.
Beautiful story of your childhood…sorry your doll was not played with and lost…This was a beautifully written uplifting devotional for me today! I love your writings they always touch my heart!
I enjoy God all the time. When am driving to work I ask Him questions about a certain need or just needing advice about my adult children. The waiting period at times makes me feel overwhelmed and uncertain but God is faithful to comfort me through that time in rest with Him. At times my tears will speak for me or laughter to relax and know that God has my back no matter what am feeling or seeing. Through it all I enjoy Him, I smile alot more now. Praise Him!!!!
just looking out living room window as the trees turn colors , my great-granddaughter aged 5 says GOD gives us some pretty things in all weather . I told her to be thankful for whatever HE does warm, cold,snow or rain and tell HIM , “Thank YOU GOD ! “
Thank you so much for this, Sharon. I have really been struggling with God, my Father vs. The very feared God of the Old Testament. Scared to voice my heart and my hard days, afraid he may get tired of my belly aching when people have real problems. Maybe even dole out a punishment. I so want to lean in and tell him my secrets instead. To enjoy him. Thanks for the encouragement to push through the fear and risk it.
He is always the light in my life
I have been feeling so over joyed lately as I find myself drawing closer and closer to Jesus. I have started casting my cares on him and the feeling of freedom has been so liberating. As I learn more and more about our savior Jesus Christ, I find myself falling more and more in love with him. There are times I feel I could explode with my craving to get people to understand what I am feeling. I thank you for your messages and can honestly say that I am taking Jesus out with me every where I go and it feels great!
I am recently retired, and enjoying my relationship with God more than ever, because I have time to sit with Him in the mornings, journaling and reading His word. Letting Him touch my heart. Time to minister to the children He sends my way. Time to care for and be with my husband and grown daughter. I am astounded by the ways He speaks to me daily, in the smile and eye contact of a stranger, interactions that are so connected and loving! I feel like I’m floating on His ocean of grace and mercy!
Today I asked God to keep me kind. I am learning to praise him vocally as I would when I have a need. Most days not easy for my sarcastic, defensive, easily offended mind. I am less sarcastic, defensive, and offended now, but there are still moments each week.
Im so glad God wants such a close relationship with me
Amen! I’m so in love with the Lord! He is so awesome and too amazing for words to describe. One of my favorite verses is, “For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name” Isaiah 54:5. Not to be religious but because I’m so in love with Him, I spend my first hour every day alone with Him in my tiny prayer room (aka laundry room). Even when my husband and I go to our 6am prayer group on Friday mornings I first have my alone time with my Lover of my soul. Being in His Word is so fulfilling! Awesome post!
Hi Sharon, I had to leave a comment to say how much I appreciate your writing, here and on Girlfriends In God. I’ve been reading these for the past few years and no matter where I have been in my life or in my faith or out of it, your words have always spoken the truth of God’s word and I’ve always felt that. Reading your words always have the ability to bring me back into faith and allow me to open my heart to God again. It has been a really rough faith journey for me, and I’m still figuring it out but I just wanted to say I appreciate your open and honest message, as I can feel God speaking right through you. I really admire your strong faith and open heart you have in God. You are living a blessed life, and I’m all the more blessed for being able to connect with you. Thank you.