God and I went out to dinner together recently. If you’d happened by, you would have seen me sitting at a table for one. You probably would not have seen God, but He was there. Trust me on that.
Earlier that day, a friend mentioned off-handedly that God delighted in me. I must have hesitated at her unexpected comment, because she challenged me: “Ask Him! I dare you!” So that’s what spurred my little dinner date with God.
As I waited for my meal to arrive, I wrote in my journal. “So do You delight in me, God? Will You tell me in a way I can know?”
I noticed there were a lot of children in the restaurant—more than I’d seen there on previous visits. I didn’t think much of it, but tried just to focus on hearing what God might want to say to me.
My thoughts drifted to different Scriptures. Your Father in heaven gives good gifts! (Matthew 7:11). You are called, chosen, adopted, blessed, redeemed, forgiven (Ephesians 1:3-7).
You do not have to earn or merit My delight and blessing, I sensed God whispering in my spirit. But I wasn’t confident in what I was hearing. I mumbled something to God about my lackluster performance at something or other earlier that day.
I’m not obsessed with your performance, I thought I heard Him say in response.
“You’re not!?” I sputtered in surprise. I should definitely know better by now, but sometimes I still assume that God is watching me with a critical eye, waiting to see how well I am towing the line. “What, then?”
I’m watching you just to see how you are. I love to see what you are doing, what you bring to different situations.
Just then, I heard a crash of hard plastic and a whooshing mini tidal wave. A little girl had dropped a gigantic glass of soft drink. Coke went everywhere. The child—no more than three years old—froze while her parents sprang into action.
The dad found a bus boy to clean up the mess. The mom bent down and looked her daughter in the eye. “You need to say you’re sorry to the man who is going to mop this up.” The little girl looked scared. But when the teenaged employee came with his mop and bucket, she obeyed.
“I’m sorry,” came her timid little voice.
The bus boy looked at the girl with a huge grin. “It’s not kids’ night if we don’t have at least two mop-ups,” he said warmly. His kind response put everyone at ease, me included. To my surprise, I teared up, even. I realized that God really was there—where else do you find grace, mercy, and unconditional acceptance?
“What would it be like for me to go through life without worrying about my performance all the time, Father? I’m so intent on getting things right that I often miss Your smile.”
You’d experience freedom. You’d be able to sense my delight.
I knew He was right. But before I could respond, He continued.
The way I see it, if we don’t have at least two mop-ups, it’s not humans’ night.
I started to giggle, but suppressed it. After all, the others in the restaurant probably wouldn’t have understood. But I knew what God meant. And I realized in that moment that He truly does delight in me. He’d answered my prayer and showed me in a way I could know.