You bring joy to God’s heart!

Last week I was given a new, small devotional booklet entitled “The Road to Pentecost.”  It contains daily reflections, complemented by brief Scripture and Catechism selections, for each day from Easter to Pentecost.


Today’s theme was:  “You bring joy to God’s heart.” 


I took a minute to think about this.  As I pondered, I began to realize that this was a somewhat foreign idea to me.  I couldn’t remember ever before having taken time to seriously consider this.  I know I’ve probably heard it before, just never dwelt on it.  Maybe it’s that “low self-esteem” that we hear about.


Don’t mistake this for a lack of faith on my part.  I think I have a fairly deep understanding of God’s Fatherly love for me.  (This can almost certainly be attributed to the love and care I received from my own Dad, especially in those youngest, most formative years, than it is to any spiritual acuity of my own.)  I regularly take time to bask in my Heavenly Father’s love for me, to steep myself in it and let it flow through me like a Lipton teabag.  Further, I surely realize that the Lord appreciates the efforts I make to respond to his Fatherly love for me.


But…me?…bring joy to God’s heart?  How can someone who sins as much as I do, who is as selfish as I am, bring joy to God’s heart?


The booklet’s reflection for today began with this:

“Have you ever sat back and enjoyed your own work of art?  A newly-decorated house, a meal, a poem, a painting?  Isn’t it a wonderful feeling?  Your Creator-Father-God’s heart bursts with joy when he looks at you.”


As I meditated on this, I realized how profoundly true it is.  I remembered how, as a kid, even though I hated mowing the lawn, I would stand back afterward and admire my work.  The clean lines.  The well-trimmed edges.  It was really satisfying to see a well-manicured lawn.


The same thing has happened occasionally in my work life.  You get assigned a project, and…You. Just. Nail. It.  It may have required putting in some extra hours.  But you look on it with great pride upon completion.


As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, sometimes I get somewhat the same feeling even after writing a good blog post.


So…why?  Why do some of these simple jobs produce a feeling of…well…joy!


After further consideration, I came to this conclusion:  Because you have put yourself into it!!!!!  It contains a part of you.  You took care to produce it to the best of your ability.  And to others who see it, be it a mowed lawn or work project or blog post, it is a reflection of yourself.


So now I realize that I can indeed bring joy to God’s heart, because he made me in his image.  He put Himself into me!  I am a source of joy to him – not because I understand his love, not because he appreciates my love for him – but simply because of who I am, who he made me to be!! 


But what about my failures, my selfishness, my sins?  Well, that’s why he gave us Jesus.


It’s still seems somewhat hard to understand, to “wrap my mind around” as they say.  Hopefully, I will take the time to recall this truth – and the joy that my own ‘creations’ bring to me – until I really ‘get it’.

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