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Breathe in this today!

I recently received a gift from one of my children, who has a minimal income. It was a box filled with things to delight me. It meant even more knowing it came at a great cost to them. It was a very good gift! I believe one of the secrets to a life lived well is to be “easily delighted.”* I was often told, “It’s no big deal," during our children's teen years after I got too excited about this or that. But I have to tell you, delving into delight is a big deal!

Experiencing delight is not an escape from reality. Delight can come on a sunny afternoon or in the darkest night. Delight can burst forth in times of celebration or when you are knee-deep or even neck-deep in suffering or despair. Delight does not fix things or change your circumstances, but it can change you and help you endure your circumstances.

Jesus tells us that we have a heavenly father who loves giving good gifts to his children. In the Psalms, we learn that God delights in us and that we can delight in Him.** We wake each day to a world filled with good gifts from our heavenly Father.

Gary Haugen, founder and CEO of the International Justice Mission, describes it this way: “Joy is the oxygen for doing hard things in the world.” You need to receive joy to keep going in your work and through life’s challenges. Joy is a gift: the oxygen you need. I love this because you don’t produce oxygen. You receive it.

“Happiness turns up more or less where you’d expect it to,” writes Frederick Buchner, “[in} a good marriage, a rewarding job, a pleasant vacation. Joy, on the other hand, is as notoriously unpredictable as the one who bequests it.” You cannot make joy or delight; you notice it, catch it, receive it, experience it, and when you do, it feels like a burst of goodness. It is a good gift.

Let’s be easily delighted today and give thanks for the good gifts that await us!


*Shauna Niequist uses the phrase “easily delighted”

*Psalm 149a, 37:4a. See also Zeph 3:17, Ps 18:16-19, just to name a few


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