There she lay in her beautiful box. A two-foot bride doll dressed in a white chiffon, pearl-studded wedding gown with matching veil. Her short-cropped, curly brown hair fell softly around her delicate face; her pink, plump skin felt amazingly soft; and her movable eyelids lined with thick black lashes opened and closed with her changing positions. The bride had perfectly shaped lips and crystal-blue eyes that appeared strangely real. She was truly the most beautiful doll I had ever received in my six-year-old life.
My uncle knew my infatuation with being a bride one day, so he gave me this lovely gift for my birthday. However, there was one problem. My mother wouldn’t let me play with her. “You’ll have to wait until you are older,” she stated. “She was very expensive. We’ll just keep her in the box until you’re big enough to take care of her.”
So, the doll stayed in her box, safely stowed away in a dresser drawer. Occasionally I’d open the drawer to stroke her lovely hair or straighten up her lacy gown, but never did I take her out and actually play with her. Now that I am an adult, I don’t even know what became of her.
Did you know that God wants us to enjoy our relationship with Him? Our faith is not something to keep in a box for safe keeping. Or something to be experienced on Sundays and Holy Days. It is meant to be enjoyed! Everyday!
Our relationship with Jesus is certainly a holy one, but it is also meant to be a joyful one.
David wrote, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”
(Psalm 37:4). If you’re like me, I get stuck on the second part of that verse, “the desires of your heart.” But let’s think about the first part, “delight yourself in the LORD.”
What does it mean to delight in someone? It means to love, adore, and enjoy being around that person. Webster’s Dictionary says “delight” means to “take pleasure in” or “to give keen enjoyment” or to “give joy or satisfaction to.” To enjoy God is to enjoy being in His presence.
Timothy wrote “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17 NIV emphasis added).
C.S. Lewis once said that most Christians lack “merriment.” I like that word, “merriment.” Just moving the words across my lips is fun. And I think Lewis is right. We lack merriment and we don’t expect it. Many Christians look like they’ve been weaned on a dill pickle. My goodness, if there is anyone who should exude merriment, it is a person who knows Jesus as Savior and Lord. We, above all people, have something to be merry about!
The first statement in the Westminster Confession, a church document written back in 1646, states that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Enjoy Him! Just as He takes delight in you, He longs for you to take delight in Him.
God doesn’t want us to simply have a religion in our lives—a box with His name stamped on it. He wants us to have a relationship with Him—a life with His fingerprints all over it!
So here’s a question for us to ponder today: Are we enjoying God? Do we long to spend time with Him? Smile when we think of Him? Have fun talking to Him? Take pleasure in knowing Him? Do we enjoy being in His presence?
Thinking back on the lovely gift that was never enjoyed, I’m reminded of the gifts that God has given to each one of us. If we keep those gifts tucked away in a hidden place until we feel like we’re old enough to take proper care of them, or mature enough to master them, we’ll miss many years of the enjoyment He intended all along. Yes, the gifts may get tattered and torn in the process, but enjoying them will bring the Giver great pleasure. After all, our enjoyment is His great delight. That’s what gifts are for.
Dear Father, sometimes I get way too stuffy in my faith. Jesus went to parties. David danced with joy. Mary sang her heart out. Today, I simply want to enjoy Your presence and delight in Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
What is one way you have enjoyed God lately? Here’s a picture of one of mine. Watching the sun rise on the coast while drinking a cup of coffee.
Do you long for something more in your relationship with God? The good news is that “something more” does not mean “doing more.” God longs to show you glory moments when He makes His presence known in your life. In my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, I show you how to experience God’s presence in the middle of your busy, messy day. It’s the perfect book for a summer read!
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.