If I were you best friend, I’d probably know loads and loads about you. I would see you at your best, at your worst, and in all the in-betweens (and still love you anyway…)! If I were you best friend, I bet I’d have your phone number memorized (or have you at the top of the list of my speed dial list!). I’d look forward to our time together and think of you when we were apart. I’d make spending time with you a priority; I’d want my loved ones to know you and adore you like I do; I’d know the things you cannot stand and also know what you live for. In short, my connection with you would be sister-friend-soul-level-deep; it would be a delight in my life and yours.
For the Lord your God is living among you. … He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17, NLT
(Photo and Artwork: Courtesy Tammy Miller, 2016)
That’s the kind of joyous love and holy delight God has for YOU. He’s happy you are here! He smiles when you get up in the morning and He sings joy over you throughout the day! He watches over your comings and goings and He wants to be number one on your speed dial list.
How do we nurture this delightful friendship? Communication, as is it in so many things, is the key.
In his 17th century book on prayer, Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence said that the key to friendship with God isn’t necessarily changing what you do, but instead, it’s changing your attitude about what you are doing. His advice is to pray shorter prayers throughout the day, instead of one long session. He called these short and succinct prayers, “Breath Prayers” that are easily remembered and honor God. What does that look like in practice? Like this:
This is my mom. And she is delightful!
Isn’t that just the best?! She delights in just about everything she does. In fact, “That’s delightful!” is probably her most often used phrase; and let me tell you, she means it when she says it! I love observing my mom around other people so I can just sort of sit back and watch her do her thing. She truly gifted with gobs of joy in her spirit and it cracks me up to see her treat everyone around her with that same giddiness of delight!
When we were together last summer, we were standing in this crowded and hot grocery line and even the best of us were coming a little unglued. But my mom? Nah. She just breezed through the waiting humming a tune and making up funny stories to get our minds off the delay. And as we got up to the cashier, who asked the obligatory “How was your shopping experience?”, my mom smiled and said, “It was delightful!” And off we went.
In that moment, I thought, “Holy cow, this woman is Kook-a-doodle! There was nothing delightful about our hot and bothered experience!” But you know what I realized? She saw the whole thing through an entirely different lens. How does she do that? She chooses a lifestyle of worship. Like Brother Lawrence, she meditates on the delightful things instead of worrying the day away or ruminating on the negative.
Her “breath prayer” is a simple, “This is delightful, Lord!”, combining praise and worship in one sweet little package. And it packs a powerful punch of gratitude right along with it!
This week, as we continue to read and reflect on A Purpose Driven Life, let’s all develop a few of our own breath prayers. Ones we can quickly pull out throughout the day to stay in the holy delight of God’s friendship. Start with “It’s delightful, Lord”, if you want to! As we begin to change our attitude and remind ourselves of the importance of worship, we’ll fall deeper in love with our God and grow closer to understanding our purpose!
This week, read days 8-14 in the main book. Try to answer a few of the “Questions to Consider” listed at the end of each day! Tackle Week 3 in your Inspiration Book, which includes that most delightful scripture up at the top from Zephaniah, and this great quote from Nancy Alder:
Finally, enjoy this sweet anthem from Colton Dixon, “Through All of It, reminding us that God is always with us! Have a blessed week, sweet friends.
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: We’re All in This Together (no, I’m not talking about High School Musical…;) )