Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

Day 19: He Delights in You // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness


photo: Matheus Bertelli

Hi there! This is day 19 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. 

I used to teach 7th grade, and I borrowed a lesson opener from the internet once that turned out to be one of my favorites. I brought in a brand new, fresh-from-the-ATM $20 bill and held it up in front of my students (for some reason, it wasn’t as difficult to get their attention that day). 26 pairs of eyes locked on the bill in my hands and 26 hands instantly shot into the air as I asked who wanted it. I then crumpled the $20 in my hand, really smashed it into a wadded-up ball, and opened it back up, now totally wrinkled where before it had been perfectly smooth and new. I asked again, who wants it? And every hand again went up. I then stepped on it, poured water on it and threw the $20 in the trash can and asked a third time, who still wants it? Again, every kid volunteered to take the bill off my hands. I asked them why they wanted it. It was all wrinkled, wet, and gross in the trash. One of my kids said, “It’s still $20!”

So I asked, “Why doesn’t it matter to you that it’s all messed up now?”

And he said, “No matter what you do to it, it’s still gonna be worth $20 and I’m still gonna want it.”

The same is true of us. Life may crumple us up and spit us out as a wadded-up wrinkled mess, storms may come and step on us, drown us, and throw us away like we’re nothing, but you and I are still worth untold riches to Jesus. Enough that He gave His very life to bring us home. And He didn’t just do this out of obligation, but because He genuinely delights in us.

One of my favorite verses, one that I hold close to my heart as a life verse, is Zephaniah 3:17.

“The Lord your God is with you,

He is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Have you ever wondered what makes God’s heart sing? What in the world pleases Him the most, serves Him the best, and what just delights His heart the deepest? The answer is YOU. Crumpled up, stepped on, half-drowned, life-weary you. Listen close: Jesus did not die for religion. He did not die for doctrine. He did not die for theology. He died for us. You and me, and everybody. Is there really any debate about what lights up His eyes? About what is truly the most important to Him? Somehow, even in our brokenness and sin and smallness, Jesus sets His sights on us. We must learn to see what He sees.

Will you do a weird thing with me? Grab a notepad, pen, and a timer. Just trust me, okay? It’s going to be good. Do you have those things? REALLY go get them. Okay, great. Now I want you to set your timer for exactly two minutes and use the notepad and pen to write down absolutely everything you can think of about yourself that Jesus delights in. What about you makes Him smile? Don’t worry about bragging, no one else will ever see it but you. Be honest and own your gifts and lovelinesses. And don’t read the next bit until you’re done. Go.

(Did you do it? Go back and really do it, Cheaty McSneakster. I see you. Go make a list.)

Now, I want you to examine your list. What clues and hints could it hold toward the person God has called you to be? Circle a few things that point you toward your purpose. Keep this list somewhere safe and refer back to it when you forget how much God delights in you. Look at it when you need a reminder of your calling and your worth in the Kingdom and family He is building. Christ sees you like that all the time. He thought of everything on that list in the garden as He was deciding to give His life for you, and it didn’t even take Him two minutes.

May you feel His delight in you like sunshine on your shoulders. May the purpose of your day be to make Him smile. And may the joy He feels toward you fill you up and leak out onto everyone you meet today. The King of the universe rejoices and sings over you. You are a delight!


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