I believe delight cannot be produced by sheer willpower. Delight can only be fueled by a source outside our isolated selves. For delight to emanate from our beings there must be an object that feeds it.
In other words, delight is that which strengthens our joy. It is the pleasure felt once the perceived unfulfilled area of our beings is perceived to be fulfilled.
Interestingly enough, many times we do not fully realize the object that feeds our delight until that very object is no longer present or has left us unfulfilled.
We talk ourselves into believing that the very object that makes us feel delight will fulfill the deep desires of our hearts. We might not have the awareness to cognitively know it, but surely our feelings of pleasure or excitement, anxiety or fear will reveal the object that triggers our delight.
Think of a child, created with a specific design. Part of the creative design is that in order for a child to grow healthy, s/he must eat nutritious food. If this child stops eating nutritious food, but rather fulfills her/his “heart’s” desire with candy (making it the object of her/his delight), then s/he will grow weary, becoming vulnerable to all sorts of physical sicknesses, making it hard to fulfill her/his design to grow and be a healthy child.
Though an imperfect example, I want to draw our attention to this child and think: How many of us are like this child?
Well, let me tell you, that I indeed am. Not too long ago, at the dawn of last winter I found myself in a predicament, for more than a decade I tried to pursue the “ideal woman of my dreams”, but never seem to find her. I then realized my delight was found on the idealization of a romantic relationship, perhaps a woman that might be able to satisfy my heart’s desires, one that will become the triggering object of my delight. It was only by the Lord’s conviction that I let go of such object of delight, and turned my gaze upon the one that designed me for Himself. I finally started to delight in Him, and to find fulfillment in Him. It was not only until after I chose to delight in Him, that He gave me the most amazing woman, she more than surpassed any past “ideals”.
Just like the psalmist expressed:
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalms 37:4
God knew He was the only one that could emanate delight in us by fulfilling the longing in our beings. For He knew that people, or any other object where we have set our delight upon will not be able to fulfill the desires of our hearts given their finite and imperfect state. But in Him, the perfect and infinite one, our delight can be set, and our heart’s desires secure. Just like the psalmist seem to imply, it will take dying to all other sources of delight, even to any perceivable heart’s desires (e.g. my “romantic ideals”), for us to delight in the Lord, and as a consequence witness Him reveal the true life-giving desires of our hearts (which will most likely be nothing like what we use to perceive in our hearts.)
So, the question then arises: What is the object of your delight? Maybe for you is not a romantic relationship, but rather a relationship with a son or a daughter, or a close family member, or intimate friend. Perhaps it is not even a person, but rather an endeavor, an accomplishment, a goal, an academic degree, or an unfulfilled dream. Whatever your “candy” may be, remember, today might be the day to turn away from it, gaze upon the radiance and matchless beauty of the Lord; simply delight in Him.