Her 4-year-old eyes looked across the dinner table at me along with furrowed brows and a serious question. “Auntie, why didn’t you answer the phone?”
I was unaware of the missed call. “I’m sorry buddy. What did I miss?”
“We were doing a poll of everyone’s favorite animals,” E explained, relaying the results. After I submitted my vote, I heard all about the work she did to call everyone in her family to get votes and how E was concerned that certain animals were losing.
E continued, “Yeah, Auntie, when we called you and Nama, we got the lady.”
I was confused. “The lady?”
“Yeah, the lady answered your phone.”
Thoughts ran through my head. Did she call my work number? Do I have a personal voicemail? Do I have an assistant I don’t know about? Is it my voice or someone else’s voice?
And then it came to me. The lady. She got the automated voice that answers when you don’t have a personal message.
The whole dinner table burst into laughter. But E was discouraged and left the table straight for the couch nearby. We heard her small voice whimpering, “You laughed at me.” And while she pouted a few feet away, I remembered a song set to Zephaniah 3:17.
He takes great delight in you.
He will quiet you with His love.
He rejoices over you with singing from above.
At that moment, I felt a deep sense of delight in my niece. E thought the laughter was criticism, but instead, it was squeals of delight.
I was delighted that...
She valued me and my input.
She took the time to call.
She expressed care for fictional animals not getting votes.
She took her job seriously.
She helped me relive the experience with all the details.
She gave us insight from her vantage point.
I wished that I could give her a glimpse of what I was feeling. This tiny human, just four years old, that I met in the hospital on the first day of her life… is now a smart, communicative, delightful person with creative ideas. I have seen her grow into the person she is. I know her. When she thought I was laughing at her, I was experiencing pure joy in her existence.
Zephaniah 3:17 says,“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you…”
He will take great delight in me? I am not sure I understand delight. There are not many people that look at me with delight. Happiness, friendship, and joy, but what is delight anyway? The dictionary says “to take great pleasure” and “to give keen enjoyment.” Delight, keen enjoyment, like the times I squeal when my nieces say the cutest things.
I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to store that memory. A reminder to think about that moment, how I laughed, how I felt it in my gut, how everything went away, and I felt absolute pleasure in the existence of my niece.
If I, being human, can enjoy someone so much, how much more does my God take great delight in me?
Friend, He takes great delight in you. I hope you feel His delight in you this week and I hope He allows you to experience a sample of that delight in your life.
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)