By Catherine Gilmore
Delight /verb/ to give someone great pleasure or satisfaction, to enjoy
/noun/ a cause or source of joy
I often think that Jesus merely tolerates me. He truly loves humanity, so He puts up with me. He sees that I could be more virtuous and more holy so He keeps giving me chance after chance to achieve that best version of myself. And I keep failing. Time after time.
I have, of course, been taught of God’s infinite mercy and radical love. But somehow, my mind still manages to belittle God’s love and has me believing that it doesn’t really apply to me personally. I mess up so much, so how could it? My mind creates its own distorted version of God, a God who stands back and looks on disappointedly as my life unfolds in its messy way.
One day, as I was reading Psalm 18 in my Bible, one small line stopped me: “He delivered me, because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19). This line stuck in my mind and captured my spiritual imagination. The mighty God of the Old Testament, the Holy One of Israel, is the same God Who sent His Son to earth to deliver me. Me personally. He allowed Jesus to be tortured and slaughtered as a criminal. His life-giving Blood poured out in Jerusalem. Why? It is not because He merely tolerates me. He isn’t indifferent towards my existence. He wanted my unique and beautiful soul for all eternity. It is because He delights in me.
The Hebrew term for delight is hepes and it means to bend towards or to be inclined towards and object or person. The God of the universe bends towards me. He scoops me up in His perfection and delights in my body and soul. I give God joy. He doesn’t give me trials and stand aloof waiting to shake His head when I fail. He bends towards me and loves me for who I am in this very moment. He helps me to fight the good fight while taking pleasure in my wonderful being. He knows I fail but His unconditional love for me remains.
Saint Ambrose says, “Know, o beautiful soul, that you are the image of God, know that you are the glory of God.” Today, let us believe that we are the glory of God and that He is taking delight in us as we are. He will deliver us because we are His joy. He is ever near and always inclined towards us.