Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Delighting In Life

by Donna L. Watkins

A very popular Scripture is Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - La Selva, Costa Rica - Mantled Howler Monkey

I've always wondered exactly what delight meant. You know the mental process: "Okay, sounds pretty easy. Now what does delight mean so I can do this and have the desires of my heart?"

According to the New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible this word "delight," (translated from the Hebrew word "anag" #6026) means:

"the obvious and most common translation of the word is "delight" ... some of the other meanings of this Hebrew word are: "to be soft or pliable... delicate (-ness)..."

If we look up "pliable" in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, this definition is given: "supple enough to bend freely or repeatedly without breaking." The root word of "pliable," "pliant" adds the term "yielding" to the definition.

So the segment "delight yourself in the Lord" expanded would mean to "delight (take joy in the Lord), doing good and being faithful, and remaining pliant and yielding in the Lord."

I often pick up a few books from the library to keep myself focused on right thinking. One of them was "Out Of The Blue ... Delight Comes Into Our Lives." In it I found some definitions of delight that might paint you a few word pictures of what the word means.

"Delight is high-level, high-quality happiness. It is that head-to-toe tingle we feel when something goes exceedingly well, that surge in the area of the heart when love and joy are flowing. It is a solid feeling of being permanently connected to our own good."

That last statement really made me ponder how well I treat myself. Too often women are so self-sacrificing and do not take time for themselves. Often after children are grown and gone, the pattern has been set and many tend to bury themselves away in some other project that is more important than the nurturing of themselves. "Being permanently connected to our own good." Hmm ... if you're "religious" your thought is that we are called to sacrifice, but life has a balance. The power of loving yourself is key to loving others and God commanded us to do both. (read The Power of Love)

Here's some examples of the feelings of delight from the book mentioned above:

"Delight is the fire of enthusiasm that turns work into play and challenges into pleasurable learning experiences ... loving one another without fear, laughing out loud ... singing in the shower, dancing in the street ... driving for hours over boring freeways and suddenly coming upon a beach with sunlight dancing over miles of glittering waves."

In the overall painting of life, delight is the sunrise and sunset. If you can manage to live in it the entire day as the sun shines all day, you will enlighten not only your own life but the lives of those around you. But first we have to believe in the importance of delighting ourselves.

We were created to fellowship and communicate to our Creator. When we make that connection we can accomplish incredible things and bring delight to our world. Delight is the overflow we are capable of when we connect with the true and living God of this universe.

When delight is allowed to flow (and too often we stop it because many people think if they allow themselves to feel too good, something bad will soon happen), we are filled with creative energy that allows us to master our circumstances and attract what is needed not only for ourselves but for others.

If you were asked what delights you, would you have an answer? Most do not. Many who have an answer have not made one step towards what they know will delight them. Conversations generally stay within the middle comfort zone. Not too depressing, and not too joyful. Don't you think the world would stop to watch with a puzzled look if you began jumping for joy? We are to rejoice for each other, but sometimes people can't stand to see somebody else delighting. Remember Michal, David's wife in 2 Samuel 6:16?

"Then it happened as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart."

Our cat loves to chase her tail and it's a delight to watch her delighting in it. I have many delightful thoughts of our son as a baby. Babies delight in the smallest of things. Bright shiny objects make them giggle and smile. When they discover the wonder of their toes they coo with delight.

What delights you? Your first thoughts may not be what's deep inside where you've buried those kinds of thoughts. In your prayer time ask God to show you what will delight you and ask Him for help in seeking that delight. When you lighten up on yourself, you'll find that you can more fully delight in Him ... and then ... there comes the desires of your heart. Seems all tied together, doesn't it?

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© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, TheNatureInUs.com for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

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