I recently hung out with a four-year old friend. We were at a local park and the day was gorgeous. She rather quickly discovered that I am also a four-year old in a much larger, much older body. I am willing to push swings, climb on play structures and facilitate general silliness. Apparently, this was news to my friend but she reveled in it. Very quickly she began leading me by the hand – or a handful of my shorts pocket – all over the playground. Eventually my 40-something body caught up with my 4-year old spirit and I had to sit down. Instead of going back to the playground, my friend affixed herself to me. We continued to be silly – ok, true confessions, I continued to be silly – and we delighted in each other’s company for quite a while.

This morning as I spent time with God, I was reflecting on the simple joy of hanging out with my four-year old friend. All she wanted was for me to be near her, to engage with her in whatever she was doing. And she was delighted, no matter what we did. And as I thought about that joy, that delight, that simply being together, God whispered to me, “That is how I feel about you. I delight in being with you – no matter what you are doing. You are my little girl and I love hanging out with you.”

Happy tears.

I am God’s girl and He delights in me.
That’s grace.
Unmerited favor.

I don’t deserve to be God’s girl.
And I don’t deserve His unmerited favor.
I am not always delightful. Ask anyone who knows me well.
And God knows me better than anyone.

I know that my choices are not always delightful to Him.
In fact, the Bible is very clear that sin is abhorrent to God – it literally makes Him sick.
So when I choose to turn away and willfully do my own thing, He hates the choice that I made.
And it puts a barrier between us.
Not because He has rejected me.
But because I have rejected Him.
I have to turn back to Him – hopefully, a little more quickly each time – and say, “I’m sorry, Daddy. I blew it. Please forgive me.”
And He always, always does.
I don’t have to restore my salvation – that is a done deal.
But I do need to restore the joy of my salvation by confessing my sin. (Psalm 51)

But even at my worst, He always delights in me.
Because He chooses to do so.

Just like my 4-year old friend, He simply wants to be with me.
And He is always with me. (Hebrews 13).

But I am not always with Him.
I forget that He is right here.
Loving me.
Enjoying me.
Wanting to spend time with me.
Seeking my heart.
Painting rainbows, sunsets, and flowers for my enjoyment.
Providing sweet treats for my taste buds and my soul.
Willing to listen every moment.
Willing to guide every decision I make.
Willing to give me all I need, all the time.
Thankfully, His presence is not based on my remembrance of Him.
He is there whether I see Him or not.

And there is no wear-out factor.
He never shakes His head and says, “Enough of you. You are too loud. Too caught up in worry. Too selfish. Not trusting enough. Too much.”
He never walks away.

Sometimes I cannot trace His hand.
Sometimes it feels like He is not there.
Sometimes I wonder how He could love me.
Sometimes my circumstances seem bigger than Him.

But neither my feelings nor my circumstances are Truth.
And they do not change the facts:
He chose me. (Ephesians 1)
He called me out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of His dear Son. (Colossians 1)
He has saved me by His grace and His grace alone. I cannot earn His love. I have never been good enough – and I never will be good enough. (Ephesians 2)
But He loves me. (I John 3:1)
And He calls me His beloved child. (I John 3:1)
He delights in every detail of my life. (Psalm 34)

Those facts are true about you, too, if you have accepted the free gift of salvation He offers.
He wants to spend time with you throughout your day.
He longs for you to long for Him.
To reach out for His hand as you go through the day.
To talk to Him as things happen. The good. The bad. The ugly.
A “Thanks, God” here.
A “What do you think, God?” there.
A “Help, please!” as needed.
Perhaps a “You do great work, God” when you see something beautiful.

To enjoy His presence as He enjoys yours.
He longs to be your everything.
My everything.
Will we let Him be that today?

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