The Promise of Delight

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”   Psalms 37:4

My daughter was a dancer growing up. She danced, nearly daily, for 15 years. For 15 years we drove her to dance lessons, paid for frilly costumes, and attended recitals.

Ahh, recitals.

The recital is the biggest annual (sometimes bi-annual or even more) event in the life of a dance studio. It’s the time for each teacher, dancer, and dance squad to shine. It is the moment to show off all the techniques and moves they’ve learned in the last 6-12 months.

As a parent of the youngest dancers, these recitals are pure joy. I’ll say it again…joy. Dance steps are quickly forgotten in front of the bright stage lights. Costume malfunctions are common, and someone always ends up backward, behind, or upside down. Some of my favorite recital moments were watching a group of young children I didn’t even know. 

Pure joy.

Joy vs Delight

However, the older my daughter got, the more I began to understand the difficulty of mastering the craft of dance. I saw those who excelled and those who lagged behind. As the years went on, the dance troops shrunk with age. Those who continued became proficient at their craft.

In those final years of recitals, as a parent, I no longer found joy in just simple participation, but I delighted in my daughter’s ability to create emotion through movement. I saw the sweat, tears, pain, heartache, and hours spent that resulted in this one moment. 

Dancer image by Kia Bondurant

Whether it’s dance or math or soccer or painting any other activity, parents delight in the depth of the mastery of their child’s craft.

Delight is found in time.

The Psalmist, David, encourages us to delight in God. I wonder if this type of command isn’t easily done without years of walking with God. As the parent of a young dancer, you see the joy in participation, but delight comes with a depth of experience. 

Joy is found in the immediate presence of Jesus, but delight is found after years of experiencing the faithfulness of God. After years of following Jesus, our hearts conform to Him, His will, His mind. We take delight in Him…because we are more like Jesus ourselves.

Of course, the promise from the Psalmist is to receive my heart’s desire. Yet, the longer I walk with Jesus, the more my heart’s desire is conformed to God’s own heart. Would l love a new sports car? Absolutely, but my deepest desire is to see my children walk with Jesus. Would I like promotion and prestige? Definitely, but I desire even more to see people connect with God in a personal and intimate way.

No matter where you are today, may you find joy in Jesus’ presence in your life, and may you take steps toward delight in the faithfulness of God.

THEN may your heart’s desire be filled!

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