One Christmas years ago when our son Pete was in his Willy Wonka phase (the one with Johnny Depp -- if you haven't seen the "new" Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp you really should -- the oompa loompa is amazing) I was able to get off of Ebay a large figurine of the Willy Wonka Character for $20. There was something slightly wrong with it because brand new the figurine would have sold for at least $200. It was some kind of collector thingy. I wrapped it up and waited excitedly for Christmas morning.
When Pete tore into the paper and lifted the figurine out of the box his mouth opened but no words came out. His face glowed. His eyes were bright. He stared at the Willy Wonka figurine for several minutes while he held it almost reverently. The rest of the room was gone for him during that time.
I love to see someone smile and say, "Praise Jesus!" when they are given something that could only have come from God. When we give out of His love and His creativity the whole transaction is a miracle.
I know you must know how this feels.
But the other side of giving isn't much fun. You give when someone demands it of you. Or you give and the gift is no big deal. Or you give and it is totally the wrong gift -- you can see it when the person looks at it.
Or you are given a gift out of obligation or because someone is trying to buy your love. Those kinds of gifts bring no joy to anyone.
Okay, this post is totally not about me even though it sure sounds like it. It is about bringing delight to God's heart. We have that capability -- to make our Father so so so happy.
2 Corinthians 9:7b says, "God loves a cheerful giver."
God wants us to give back to Him not because He needs our stuff or our money (everything belongs to Him anyway), but because He wants us to experience that love of giving. That generosity. That feeling of joy when two hearts meet. He wants that joy for us -- He gets delight because we are so happy to love Him like this. When we joyfully give to God we are showing Him and ourselves that He is way more important to us than the stuff and money in our lives. We are saying that we trust Him a whole lot more than money. We are saying that the provision that is brought into our lives is from Him and we don't have to hold tight to it. We can hold it loosely. We are also telling Him and ourselves that whatever He chooses to do with it is the best thing.