Monday, September 12, 2011
This is my dad.
As a little girl...yeah...even as an adult...I worked hard to bring him joy.
I think he'd say I didn't need to work at it, but from my end of the relationship, bringing my dad joy was something I wanted to do.
There was something about his laugh - it came from his gut and when he was really happy, you could see it all over his face.
It started when I was little. He wasn't around a lot because he was building his companies - gone from 6 a.m. till 6 p.m., returning tired and worn out. Mom was wise to keep me and my two sisters quiet in the evenings. But I would sit by the television and be the human remote. Changing channels was one way that I could be a help to him. (Yes, this was WAY before remotes were on the scene.)
Dad loved sports, so I became a sports fan. I can remember watching a college football game with him once and he said to me, "You'll remember this moment for the rest of your life because you'll never see a play like that again!" I don't remember the play, but I remember my dad's thrill and excitement - and I got to share that moment with him.
He loved sweets, so I learned to make cookies. I can remember him telling me, "The dough is too dry...or too wet...oh, this one's just right!" Even when he was on a diet, I would figure out how to make him something sweet within the parameters of his program. It didn't always taste that great, but it sure made him smile.
If I could recommend a movie that was up his alley, his eyes would sparkle when watching it. When I directed the children's choir or sang in an ensemble, I would keep an eye on him to see if he was smiling.
Now dad wasn't perfect by any means. We had our rough spots. He was a sinner saved by grace, just as I am, and trust me, I let him down a lot. But here's my point this morning - As his daughter, I had the desire and ability to bring him delight.
Did you know that as children of God we can bring our Heavenly Father delight? Not to earn His affection - He already loves us more than we could ever understand. But the scriptures place God in a Fatherly position so that we can identify with the relationship He offers us.
Proverbs 11:20 says, "The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their walk are His delight."
Proverbs 12:22 says, "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight."
Proverbs 15:8 says, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight."
Oh, I want to bring my Father delight! I want to make Him smile, to let Him know how much I love Him by my actions. In everything I do, I want to be able to look at Him and see Him smile. Not because I am earning anything - I can't possibly do that. I can't take off some of my debt by being a good person. My debt is paid by Jesus and I cannot improve on perfection.
But I can bring the Father delight.
And that's a cool way to spend my day.