“They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.” (Psalm 36:8 ESV).
The dawn’s mist settled in my beard. The trees looked different than in my memories. Something about the early morning hours made them more alive. To my left, movement startled me. I turned my head and watched two coyotes trudging through the adjacent field, one with a fresh kill in its mouth. As they glided away, I noticed a cluster of deer chewing on the wet grass. Birds sang. The sky awakened. As I walked, the day’s crispness whispered that a fresh opportunity was mine. The moment, beautiful, wonderful, one of trillions, was a gift from God.
The psalmist sang of God’s river of delights, for he has joys he wishes to gift to his children. Each one flows from him— he is the source of all the little gladnesses of life. Each joy is best experienced in the light of him. But, I wonder, how often do I fail to recognize the delights he sends? How many joys do I regularly fail to praise him for?
Here are some forgotten delights I wish to praise him for:
1 The creative mind:
I am thankful for the fiction and art and design I have enjoyed over the years. They settle me. Not like God and his word, but they do. To get lost in a novel or a new album is often the medicine God has prescribed.
Since some over-medicate with food or punish themselves by refraining from it, food is often demonized or misunderstood. In balance, however, it is a delight our King has bestowed on his people. The fare of each culture shouts of his creative genius and his love for all people.
The release one feels when bowled over in laughter is priceless. If someone could bottle up that sensation and sell it — on the spot laughter! — they’d be worth billions. God made us to laugh, to smile, to get in a good belly-chuckle when the moment is right.
The feeling that follows total physical exhaustion is special. To blow yourself out on a mountain trail, in the heat, sweat drenching your body, total fatigue — and then go home. Shower up, sit down, eat, rest. It ushers in a new level of relaxation, one which Netflix cannot give.
To go into the darkness and discover God is there with you is a sensation of significant, albeit different, delight. No one chooses this, but when it comes, and a new facet of God is found, joy fills our souls.
Each of these is best experienced in conjunction with God. People create, eat, laugh, sweat, and cry without God all the time. But to experience each of these when walking with God brings a new level of gladness. He is the source. The river flows from him.