The late Brennan Manning told the story of a friend of his, Ed Farrell, who flew to Scotland to celebrate his last living uncle’s 80th birthday. Manning writes,
“On the great day, Ed and his uncle got up early. It was before dawn. They took a walk along the shores of Lake Killarney and stopped to watch the sunrise. They stood side by side for a full twenty minutes and then resumed walking. Ed glanced at his uncle and saw that his face had broken into a broad smile. Ed said, “Uncle Seamus, you look very happy.” “I am.” Ed asked, “How come?” And his uncle replied, “The Father of Jesus is very fond of me.”
I was struck deep in my soul by the beauty and power of this simple truth. Do you honestly believe that God likes you? Of course we know that God loves us- it is His nature to love. He would not be God were He not the embodiment of love. But have you ever thought that He actually likes you? Enjoys you? Parents sometimes quip, “I love my kids, but I don’t always like them.” Yet the almighty, all-knowing, sovereign God of the universe, likes me. What a profound thought. Stay with that for awhile, ponder it throughout the day. Let it linger in your head and heart.
Olympic gold medal runner and missionary to China Eric Liddell once stated, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Have you ever felt the pleasure of your Father, His delight in you? When I’m in the center of His plan, using the gifts/talents/abilities/experiences He’s given me, I feel His pleasure, like a father’s pride in his children. When I ride, teach/preach, write, demonstrate His love toward others, I feel His delight. Yet also, in those quiet moments, when I slow my heart and mind down long enough to linger in His presence, I feel His fondness as well. “I love you, yes; but I also like you, I enjoy you.” What an amazing thought.
“The Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” -Psalm 149:4
“The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their walk are His delight.” -Proverbs 11:20
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.” -Proverbs 12:22