The question at the title of this blog entry is a powerful one. Typically, my take on the question would be “God would really like me if…” That sentence ends in any number of ways—if I was more faithful, more active, more upright, more something. That’s why I appreciated re-reading this little goodie from a spiritual director of a couple of centuries ago:
“Say to yourself, ‘I please God just as I am at this moment,’ and that even while taking your moral wretchedness into account. For there is no state of soul in which God does not make great allowances for our infirmities, thus showing His indulgence and His mercy. We must accept this, not proudly, but with loving gratitude and a growing sense of the loving-kindness of our Lord.” (Abbé Henri de Tourville. Letters of Direction. Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing, 1939, 2001, p. 51-52.)
I cannot rest in my moral uprightness. I can’t rest in my own faithfulness or obedience. I cannot find rest anywhere but in God alone (Psalm 62).
Abba is urging me to realize that His pleasure in me is not rooted in my own character but in His. He is merciful. He just is. The classic Jesus prayer makes more and more sense as a simple, focused prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.”