Did, Done and Doing

October 5, 2021 | Jaci Miller

Two-year-old Paul pointed a chubby hand and gasped. “Look!”

The art projects in our classroom, strung by fishing line across the wall, wiggled and jiggled.

I smiled and replied, “The air conditioner is blowing air into the room. Do you like how it’s making the projects move?”

Paul nodded.

For the next few weeks, each time the AC blew, Paul giggled and pointed to the dancing papers.

Even while sleeping, the phenomenon intrigued the little guy. When the air switched on, making the papers flutter in the dark, a groggy Paul raised his head from his cot, said “Look!” and immediately conked back out.

When was the last time we admired like that — at something so simple as waving pages? What marvel has ever pulled us from actual sleep?

We smile at Paul’s joy at something so small, but maybe we’re supposed to be like him. The Psalmist says, “For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done” (Psalm 92:4, NIV).

Delight in dancing papers led to delight in watching a child observe the Father’s creation. Paul had noticed the science of air and motion and he continued to be fascinated by God’s work. In a sense, Paul was singing for joy. But his joy wasn’t a single experience. It was joy at what the hands of God “have done.” 

Bear with me. Being a word nerd, I looked up the tense of “have done.” It’s present perfect. On the site I found, one commenter expressed it this way: “[Present perfect] indicates that an action that began in the past and continues into the present, or whose effects continue into the present. It can also be used to indicate an indefinite time.”*

So, when the Psalmist says, “what your hands have done,” this means a continuation of what God is doing. God has done … and is still doing. The Psalmist sings for joy at what God did and is continuing to do. And will do eternally. It’s that whole “yesterday, today and forever” idea buried in a tiny corner of the Psalms.

We can be joyful because God doesn’t stop being God. Ever. That’s comforting as well as joy-giving.

Little Paul noticed what the hands of God “have done.” He delighted in the ongoing work of the Father.

God is still moving. We can delight in that, too. 

In what areas can you find new joy?