He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Psalms 18:19 ESV
Strong's Definitions: מֶרְחָב - merchâb - mer-khawb'; from H7337; enlargement, either literally (an open space, usually in a good sense), or figuratively (liberty):—breadth, large place (room).
Carston, Mr. Frodo (one of our pups) and I went hiking once in the North Georgia mountains. The plan was to hike our way into the middle of nowhere and do a primitive camp for a few days and then return relaxed and satisfied.
I remember miles and miles (and MILES) of us hiking into the wilderness while we slowly crept around mountains and tall cliffs to get to the campsite. It was a gorgeous and yet grueling hike. There was a particular location where the trail was only about 10 to 12 inches wide with a rock wall on one side and nothing but a long drop on the other side. Before we began our hike it had rained, so it was muddy and slippery! The thought crossed my mind that if I tripped with this giant pack on my back, I'd be toast....
The Holy Spirit brought this scripture from Psalm 18 to my mind that day while I was trying to work out how to be as nimble and quick on that trail as my dog had been. Up until that point, I had never fully understood what David meant about going into a "broad place." Yet here on this muddy, narrow trail in the middle of nowhere I felt like God was giving me a visual and physical example of what I had often felt at times in my emotions and circumstances. It is a daunting task to be on a narrow trail carrying something heavy on your back with nothing to hold on to if you happened to slip and fall.
Have you ever felt that way?
But feelings deceive us, don't they? Yes, His way is narrow BUT He always brings us out into a broad place. A spacious place. A beautifully restful place. Once we take the first few steps down that narrow path, He never just abandons us there to fall and smash ourselves on the rocks or to stay in the mud under heavy weights. He always rescues us.
When we actually got around the side of the mountain there was a breathtaking waterfall at a giant rock that we were able to sit on. It was a wide-open, spacious place with the sun shining down on us as we ate lunch and just enjoyed God's creation. I clearly recall the feeling of peace and rest there, juxtaposed against the feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia on the journey to that broad space. I could tangibly feel the love of God washing over me in that moment.
It's also important to note that David states in Psalm 18:19 that God rescued him and brought him into this place because He DELIGHTED in him.
Strong's Definitions: חָפֵץ - châphêts - khaw-fates'; a primitive root; properly, to incline to; by implication (literally but rarely) to bend; figuratively, to be pleased with, desire:—× any at all, (have, take) delight, desire, favour, like, move, be (well) pleased, have pleasure, will, would.
Do you believe that God DELIGHTS in you?
I'm not asking if you have heard that before, of if you've been taught it all your life. I'm not even asking you to say "yes" because that's what you're "supposed" to say. I'm asking, do YOU truly BELIEVE it?
Psalm 18:16-19 (Message): But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
Sometimes, I am SO surprised to be loved by Him. He is such a Holy, awesome and magnificent God and I have done nothing to deserve His love; nothing at all to warrant His delightful affections toward me. And neither have you - EXCEPT - that you look like Jesus, if, by faith, you have made Him Lord of your life. He delights in you and I because we have been born-again into His family through our faith in Jesus. We have been transformed completely on the inside, new creations with a new nature. We are no longer orphans trying to find a family and be "good enough," we are SONS AND DAUGHTERS who are fully accepted in the Son.
So as Sons and Daughters who are seated WITH HIM in Heavenly places, we can indeed believe that we are SO TRULY AND UTTERLY delighted in.
Walking that narrow path means that we are BORN (again) into broad places. It's part of our inheritance. We can stand with our heads held high (because HE is the lifter of our heads), gaze set firmly upon His, confidently knowing that we are His great delight and we are so very loved.
(Scriptures referenced: Psalm 18; Psalm 3:3; 1 John 4:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 2:6; John 1:12).
Photo cred: www.independent.co.uk and google.images.com