There is a particular favourite walk on a cliff nearby where every time we go there we see a hawk hanging in midair, its wings barely beating, and the sun ( for it never rains in Cornwall!) glimmering from its wings …And what a joy it is to see a wave rolling in, picking up power, only to see it crash and break against a rock …Again what pleasure I experience taking down a beloved volume of the Orkney poet George Mackay Brown as I read again his runic Christ- haunted words. All about delight. And the list could go on, of course, for it’s in part the list of ways in which God likes to bless me (make me happy) - which he loves to do.
And this should come as no surprise for the God who calls us to himself delights and takes pleasure in us. What? Us sinners?
You bet! God delights in us right now. We are both his beloved and his betrothed. We appear to God as fetching and as beautiful as a bride does to her groom on her wedding day.
‘Surely then love is blind’, you say. But no, the stunning truth is this: in his sinless humanity and his perfect obedience to the Father. Jesus actually remade humanity. After all, as Paul says, Jesus is the new Adam. On the cross, he redeemed us and rescued us from futility. Now risen from the dead, he clothes us anew, and we get to share his righteousness. We can’t be more right with God.
The thing is - God exalts in redeeming us; he takes pleasure in bringing us home, saved and sound. Taken into the very life of the Holy Trinity itself, we are the apple of God’s eye, his jewels and treasure. See Ephesians 1:7 and 1 John3:1-3. The result will be that we shall live fruitful lives.
And so it is that God looks upon us and feels tremendous affection (grace). He can’t help himself. His pride and joy - for he both made us and rescued us - are home: we who were once dead, but are now alive; we who were once lost, but who now have been found. And yes, he delights in us and sings over us.
And all the things, all the experiences that we delight and take pleasure in? .. well, they’re from his hand too, boons and blessings of life and love and joy for his beloved children. Hallelujah!