Oh, the situation is certainly variable from a best friend moving away in 1st grade and our first teenage break-up to holding a parent's hand as they draw their last breath, or burying a child, or facing a serious illness. There are many degrees of distress as viewed from outside. But when we are experiencing these things, it is no comfort to think that things may get worse. Still, as we move through each challenge, each fear-filled situation, and experience God's abiding presence, God's plan unfolding, God pouring His strength into our situation, we grow more trusting and more able to rely on God earlier in the next crisis. In fact, eventually we learn to be aware of God in our lives on a more persistent, daily basis, and actually find that we can experience God's nearness in a beautiful sunrise or a child's smile and don't actually have to wait for impending doom to have a conversation, seek His guidance, or be aware of the amazing Grace that He pours out upon us.
But all that aside, how amazing is this idea that God delights in me? When I am at my lowest, painfully aware of the part my own willfulness and foolishness has contributed to the challenges I face, I don't feel very delightful. When I am allowing fear and rage to dominate my thinking, my breathing, my relationships, my choices until I am clinging to the very things that cause the chaos, I don't feel very delightful. When my frustration and self-righteousness fling invective, spewing hateful words over those I love and for for whom I am afraid, I don't feel very delightful.
Yet at this specific time, the Psalmist proclaims, God is fully able and willing and committed to wrapping us in love and healing and hope so that we can make better choices, heal from past bad choices and, knowing this love and healing, we can be loving and kind to others who are all too painfully like own ourselves - hopeless, helpless and heartbroken.
This is truly amazing: God sees past our brokenness to the child He created us to be, a loving, hopeful, kind, courageous, strong, able, important sort of person born to minister to His other children. He delights in His children, not because we are broken, but because in our brokenness we begin to understand where our true hope lies. In our brokenness we begin to understand that as God forgives us, so we are bound and required to proclaim God's forgiveness to our broken world.
And, yes, sometimes words help with this, but the strongest message lies in the way we live our lives as forgiven sons and daughters of the Most High.
Almighty God, let my life speak of Your love. Let my willingness to share my own brokenness help others see You as available to them. Let the difference Your forgiveness and care make in my life give hope to others. Let my persistent need to pick myself up and dust myself off offer hope to others who need to understand Your persistent willingness to love us and guide us and tend us at all times and in all places. AMEN
He reached down from heaven and took me and drew me out of my great trials. He rescued me from deep waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me—I who was helpless in their hands. On the day when I was weakest, they attacked. But the Lord held me steady.He led me to a place of safety, for he delights in me. Psalm 18:16-19 (TLB)