The toothy smile of my little girl is one of the greatest sources of joy in my life these days.
Often we’ll be in the same room, and Gracie will be quietly playing by herself and I’ll be reading a book. I’ll glance over and let out a loud “Pssst!” She will immediately turn and flash a big grin and my heart floods with joy.
Simply thinking about this as I write brings a wide smile to my face.
For my leadership as a pastor I work out of a home office. Many mornings when mommy gets Grace up, the first thing they do is peak into my office to say “hi”. Every morning, without fail, Gracie will break into a wide grin, she’ll flail her arms and make indiscernable exclamations of enthusiasm. This is the best part of my day.
I love my little girl’s smile. This is the pleasure of a father.
This gives me a glimpse of the pleasure of our heavenly Father.
Recently I was reading in Ephesians 1 where twice the Apostle Paul refers to the pleasure of God. First, in 1:5 he writes, “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will” (NIV, 2011). And then shortly after in 1:8b-9 he writes, “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ…”
It was with pleasure that God predestined us to be his children. It was with pleasure that he has made known to us his will – his plan of salvation, to redeem a broken world and reign as King.
Now, it is so easy to quickly read past these words. It’s easy to see them as more words on yet another page of Scripture. But here we see the heart of a Father. We get a glimpse of a Daddy who delights in his kids. He relishes to be with them and to bless them because it floods his heart with joy.
Being a dad has given me a matured picture of how God feels about us. I can now understand from a dad’s perspective the father/child metaphor for faith that is so often used in Scripture.
So, when I hear of God’s pleasure for us, to rescue us and to make his ways known to us, I think about the pleasure I find in my daughter’s smile. And I never grow tired of it. Her smile is just about the best part of my day. In the same way, seeing us is a source of joy for our heavenly Father.
Do you believe that? Can you accept it? This is how God feels about you. He delights in you. You bring a smile to his face.
May we grow to know the pleasure that God our Father finds in us. May this bring us to repentance, life and freedom. May it draw us to Him.
The smile of a child. The pleasure of a Father.