Does God Delight in the Works of Our Hands?
For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
I rode my bike out on a country road this morning. Yellow butterflies flitted around the blue cornflowers in the ditches beside row upon row of tall, tassled corn. I saw my first monarch of the year. A bright yellow finch with black wings led the way for me for a quarter of a mile, dipping and rising as if riding rolling waves. A red-tailed hawk glided across the road, came to rest on top of a telephone pole, and let me get within ten yards before taking flight again, skimming the corn so closely I'm sure the the tassles tickled his belly. A cloudless sky presided over all this activity.
It was an easy setting in which to praise, to be enthralled with the works of God's hands, but I carried my own, personal, black cloud with me this morning. I learned yesterday that one of our books, which had finaled in a contest judged by readers, placed third. Third out of three. The joy of finaling faded. We had lost.
A few miles slid under my tires with the shadow of that cloud hovering around me amid outrageous beauty before I gave in and confessed to God what He already knew--I was all wrapped up in self. I began to revisit the reasons why I write. The main reason is simply that this is the way God has shaped me. He's made me a lover of words. But there's a practical, unglamorous reason, too: It's a job. I may not earn a lot, but enough to motivate my backside onto my chair every morning. In truth, if we had no need of my income, I would still write, but it would be whimsical poetry and journal entries, not hundred-thousand-word stories requiring editing and rewriting--a process that often feels like lopping off body parts.
Finally, of course, I write with hopes of bringing glory to God. As I added that to the list, it provoked a sudden realization: If I write to please God, then surely, at times, He's actually pleased by my work! "Pleased" is not a static word. It involves a reaction. When one of my grandkids runs into the house, paper flapping in the wind, calling, "Grandma, I made this just for you!"I react with emotion. I feel. Joy, love, pride... Can we imagine God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe feeling something at the works of our hands? Is it possible to imagine Him with a wide smile, down on His knees, opening His arms to us like a grandparent thrilled over a crayon drawing? Or are we stuck with a picture of a pat on the head and an unemotional "Well done"? Or are we convinced that nothing our hands produce would ever be good enough to please Him?
Today, when I sat down at the computer, I prayed that God would help me write words that would delight him and bring him joy. The black cloud disappeared. My words were not more eloquent today, my grammar and punctuation no less flawed. But my attitude was transformed. I wrote for an Audience of One Who I believe smiles, not because of my ability, or because my words took third place, but simply because I want to delight Him. "Look, Father, I made this just for you!"
The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”