"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
You know that feeling when you're about to surprise your kids with something they really love? I don't know about you, but when I know I'm about to bring my kids joy I can hardly contain myself. I get so excited, looking forward to their reaction- the squeals (or screams) of joy, the huge smiles, the knocking-over-with-force hugs. The fun things in life are that much more fun when I get to watch my kids enjoy them. I delight in my children. Greatly.
Yesterday I learned that no matter if my kids are small or grown, that delight in watching their joy won't end. The same with our God. He delights in us, His kids. He LOVES bringing us joy and giving us good gifts.
So, I'm here in Anaheim for the National Vineyard Conference. When my dad heard I was heading to Anaheim for this thing and we would be arriving a couple days early, he asked the burning question, "Are you going to Disneyland?" Well, if you know me at all you know that I absolutely ADORE Disneyland. I can't even adequately describe to you my love for all things Disneyland. I love everything about it. It's my most favorite place ever. But, we were just given a trip to Disneyland in March and we're trying to pinch every penny to save for our big move, so I didn't think I could justify spending the money for a day in Disneyland. My dad, delighting in his grown-up daughter simply replied, "Oh, you're going to Disneyland!" He said if I could find a way to get there he would pay my way to spend the day. You should have seen the grin on his face when he saw my joy. Dad's love giving good gifts to their kids.
So, the question remained, "how would I get to Disneyland?" I was coming to the conference with our pastor (Lanny), his wife (Anne), and their two grown daughters (Christen and Abby). I knew I wouldn't have a car, so I would just have to wait and see if it worked out. We arrived in Anaheim and realized the little condo we are staying in is literally RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from Disneyland!!!! Shut the front door!!! Case closed. Disneyland was definitely happening on Sunday. (Plus the wifi password at the condo is "TO DISNEYLAND". I took that as another sign.) ;)
On Saturday night as I prepared for Disney I was super excited, but a tad bummed that I was going by myself. I mean, don't get me wrong, I could enjoy Disneyland alone- no problem. But, I did realize it's much more fun to share your joy with someone else. Annnnddddd the love of parents stepped in again. Abby, Christen, and I were in the bedroom chatting and Anne walked in and asked the girls "Do you guys want to go to Disneyland with Kim in the morning?" You should have seen the looks on their faces. "Ummm OF COURSE!" Anne let the girls know they would pay for them to go to Disneyland in the morning. No matter what the age, parents love delighting in their children and giving them good gifts. (I may, or may not have been jumping on the bed with joy...)
I know you might find it cheesy for me to use Disneyland to talk about the Father God's love for His kids, but if you do, you don't know me well enough, or understand the extent of my love for Disneyland. :) When we were on Space Mountain I was just laughing- out loud! I could not believe God gave me that opportunity before we head to Ukraine. Before heading to Anaheim I actually had quite a bit of nervousness and anxiety about attending the conference. I felt like "Who am I? What business do I have attending this conference and chatting with other missions folks? What makes me think they'll be interested in what we're doing?" Well, Jed put me in my place about that. He reminded me again that it's not about us or our abilities. It's about obedience to The Lord. All we have to do is say yes and tell our story. The rest is up to Him! This has never been about our abilities or lack thereof. This is about what God is doing and His ability.
When I was on Space Mountain I felt like God was saying, "Look at what I've given you today! I am taking care of every single detail. I love you and I love delighting in you and watching you laugh. I delight just as much in my children in Ukraine in their cribs. I'm their Father and I want to give them good gifts. You don't worry. No one will stand in my way. I'm gonna give my babies good gifts and delight over them with singing- and I'm going to love every minute of it. The joy you feel right now is just a glimpse of the joy that's on its way." Oh my word. It brought me to tears. I don't care how cheesy it sounds, God spoke to me on Space Mountain in a big way and I won't be the same.
Today, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, know that YOUR Father in heaven delights in you. He loves you. He rejoices over you with singing. Maybe things are rough for you. Maybe you feel like you have nothing to be joyful about. Maybe you think "Easy for you to say, Kim. You don't know hardship!" Maybe I don't know your hardship. Maybe I've never experienced the pain you've experienced, but I've experienced the delight of the Father- and He is your Father too. I know His Word is true. If He can bring joy and delight to children wasting away in cribs, and He promises to do that, He can bring joy and delight to you. Fix your eyes on Him and allow Him to father you. This is not about your ability. This is about God's ability and His great, never-stopping, overflowing, abounding love for you. I see Him with a big ol' grin on His face. That grin is for you just as much as it's for me.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."