“Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day
after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole
world and delighting in mankind.” Proverbs 8:30,31
I am trying to imagine God delighting “day after day” during creation
when He made an extra ugly bug, or when He gave the elephant the long
nose, or when he made the edelweiss and put it on the top of the
Matterhorn. It’s like the little girl asked her Sunday School teacher,
“Did God mean to make the giraffe with such a long neck?” Solomon goes
on to say that God delighted most in mankind. It is easy for me to
imagine that God is disgusted with the world. But maybe He is actually
delighted with the world? Maybe He chooses not to look into the
darkness too much, except with the intent of bringing people out and
into His light, where He can delight in them? Maybe God has a filter,
and He is actively seeking out people to delight in?
Jesus says God highly values people with the following characteristics:
-the poor in spirit
-those who mourn
-those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
-the pure in heart
-those who are persecuted for righteousness
-those who are insulted and criticized because they are Christians
Last Sunday we had a glimpse of God’s delight. We had planned a baptism
and a potluck. We woke up to dark clouds and rain. By 9:30 a.m. it was
still raining, but the first people started showing up. The rain worked
like a filter. Only those who really wanted to came. After a short
service we walked through our fields to the river. The joy of the Lord
was among us. The things of the world grew dimmer for awhile, and the
delight of being with God’s people and in His presence was all around.
After the baptism someone ran for the volleyball and the youth stopped
at the flooded volleyball court for awhile. “Today, the rain doesn’t
matter.” Then we had lunch together. The youth were just acting crazy,
singing Christian songs out loud, no instruments, off key. The word
“carefree” comes to mind. It is kind of like when people first get
saved and the heavy weight of sin first falls away. Maybe the children
of Israel felt like this crossing through the Red Sea. Maybe the
Russians felt like this when the wall came down. Maybe the Americans
felt like this when they burned the tea in Boston. Maybe the pioneers
in Manitoba felt like this when they first got a homestead. For awhile,
nothing matters. Freedom is within sight. This feeling really makes
missionary work feel like a worthwhile endeavour.
For a couple of weeks now a loose paraphrase of Paul’s feelings when he
was before King Agrippa has been ringing in my head. “But for these
chains I wish all people could become what I am.”
…except that I don’t have any chains.
Thank you so much for your prayers, support and friendship, and for
working with us on this missionary endeavour. May God bless you with a
sense of the hope you are giving to many people, and the great
multitudes you will bless through their testimonies and activities in
the years to come.
PS We captured some of the emotions of last Sunday on a four minute
video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhrqsD6Fkvs .
PPS After watching this video, if you have a youth group who would like
to challenge us to a game of volleyball, please write me an email. Hey,
you might even be able to talk us into a small soccer tournament.