Brokenness and Delight

College, for the most part, has been amazing so far. Let me start by making that clear. My freshman year at Biola University has been awesome, mainly in ways I never expected it to be. God’s cool like that.

But I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t times where I didn’t feel overwhelmed. Where depression and stress have threatened to crunch me like meat in a grinder. Sometimes, I can pinpoint the cause of what’s troubling me. That girl. That paper. That awkward conversation with _____. Other times, it’s a total mystery. I’ll feel lonely, even as I’m surrounded by literally dozens of peers going through the exact same things as me and (I hope) chasing after Jesus just as hard as I am. I’ll put pressure on myself to be the guy in social settings, only to make a fool of myself because I was trying to be something other than myself. I’ll panic about my grades and what might happen to my financial aid if they start slipping. I’ll skip devotionals, prayer, and everything else that I know I have to prioritize in order to keep me centered on following Christ — and then spend way to much time beating myself up internally for not doing so.

But in the midst of all this failure is where Jesus shines brightest. Last week, I was at a lifegroup that I recently started attending, surrounded by people who I had just met. We were sitting in a circle, going around one by one as each person received a word from the Holy Spirit for whichever person in the circle was taking his or her turn. When my turn came, the pastor/lifegroup host looked me straight in the eye and said:

“Jesus delights in you. He’s delighting in you right now.”

Think about that for a second. To delight in someone means to enjoy every part of who they are, to truly love someone because they’re worth every bit of that love and more. When I think of God delighting in me, I think of the chorus in John Legend’s song All of Me:

’Cause all of me / Loves all of you / Love your curves and all your edges / All your perfect imperfections

To me, that lyric paints a great picture of how God sees us. Yes, He sees our imperfections, our doubts, our sinful thoughts, and our hidden sins. But he also sees our hearts. He sees our struggles. And he still delights in us.

So take heart, whether you’re an overwhelmed college student here at Biola or elsewhere, or whatever phase of life you’re in right now. No, you don’t have it all figured out. But you don’t have to. God wants to meet you in your brokenness and show you how much he delights in you.

Psalms 52:8–9