Meet David. He is my oldest son and I love him with absolute commitment. He isn’t yet three years old, but he can make me laugh almost as much as his mummy can. Now, when bedtime rolls around there is a routine, and David can be quite particular about all requisite elements of bedtime being in place. Some people might demand we get rid of routine to make him adaptable, that he is potentially dependent on routine for security, but there’s more than enough natural disruptions in life without manufacturing more for him.

On the particular night, Sarah was out of the house so I was the sole provider of bedtime shenanigans. I got him tucked in “the biggerest” (superlatives, even incorrectly spelled, are impressive from a 2.5 year old, right?). We read a story (“Oh the Thinks You Can Think”) and then came the eskimos/butterflies/kisses/kersniffles. The kersniffles are some of my favorite things ever. There’s a lot of sniffing and snorting and head dodging to find the best spot, but eventually the result is lots of giggling, then laughing, then exhaustion. At the end of this particular bout, David stopped, looked at me and said, “That makes me happy.”

Gulp.

To have made my child so joyful and for him to express it was a precious moment. Reflecting on it, I imagine our Father, in whom we find our joy, delighting when we tell Him, “That made me happy.” Because it wasn’t the action alone that made David happy, but the relational bond between daddy and son, and the willingness of daddy to condescend to the wonderful world of a child who wants nothing more than kersniffles from the man who loves him, and watches over him.

God is not aloof. God is not annoyed when we want to be near Him for joy. God is not impatiently drumming His fingers, waiting for His children to quit clowning around. I am convinced that when we ask God to be our joy, to be our happiness, He is delighted, and delights in loving us this way.