A few summers ago, I was given a scripture to pray through. It was from Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord who will give you the desires of your heart.” This was very foreign to me. I thought, “What does that mean?” I remember sitting in adoration after that and trying really hard to delight in the Lord. I sat there looking at Him intently and saying, “Lord, I delight in you.” As you can imagine, though, it felt a little weird, and it didn’t seem to be working. Around that same time, I came across another scripture that said that the Lord took delight in me. Okay, if taking delight in the Lord made zero sense, the Lord taking delight in me was probably in the negatives. I thought that He loved me in the sense that God loves His children, but I didn’t really have any understanding of the statement that He delighted in me. How? Why? What had I ever done that would make Him take delight in me?
The same summer that I was given those scriptures to pray through, I was working on service crew at Life Teen’s Camp Covecrest. God heard and saw my desperate attempts to delight and understand being delighted in and showed me these truths in a way that I could understand. At that time, Lily Benzinger was three months old. She couldn’t walk or crawl, so she was pretty much always in somebody’s arms—and that somebody was usually her dad, Chris. I still have the image locked into my brain of Chris holding her so safely and gently against his chest, dancing with her and simply beaming at her. I started to realize that delighting isn’t a forced action—it isn’t even a decision. It is a natural and unavoidable result of love. It springs up from the depths of your very being.
I knew as he held and loved Lily, that it wasn’t because of anything she had achieved—the only thing she was producing back then didn’t smell so sweet. It wasn’t because of anything she had done; it was because she was his. You could simply watch them and know how in love with her he was. I remember, throughout the next year, praying with that image and asking the Father simply to hold me in His arms like that. I was reminded again this summer of the Father’s great love for me. I finally am coming to receive the full uninterrupted message that God loves me because I’m His and that He loves me now. God loves me all the time—exactly where I am—in the middle of all of my failures. He isn’t saying, “I’ll love you when…” He’s saying, “I love you. You are my delight.”