What is something that you’re known for? Are you the person who always loses your keys? Are you known for sending cards and encouraging notes? Maybe you’re the person who always has the best accessories.
The thing that I’m known for is smiling. Yep! I smile! And I guess I smile a lot! When I was a high school teacher I asked several of my classes to reveal to me my teacher quirk (in my opinion, we all have one). Mine was smiling, they said. I still get that from people today, and I admit, it’s not a bad thing to be told; however, it is rather strange. I can remember hating my smile for years! I even tried to fix my smile for a wedding portrait session. (Don’t ask, it was an embarrassing attempt to forego dental work and pursue my attempt at correction, but you get the point- I really didn’t like my smile.)
What brings a smile to your face? Are there people in your life who bring you joy when you’re around them? Do you smile with a sense of reward at the completion of a project? Do you visit a place that fills you with such peace that you can’t help but smile while there?
I smile for these reasons, too. But the main reason for smiling is because of the joy, purpose and peace I have in the Lord Jesus Christ. The scenarios above describe circumstances that can change and will change.
Jesus never changes.
He tells us in His Word that He is always with us. I cannot describe the complete joy this truth brings me every day. Knowing Jesus gives me a powerful sense of purpose and an overwhelming state of peace.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You” (Isaiah 26:3, NIV).
Trusting in God and in the completed work of His Son Jesus is something that begins at salvation and continues to increase throughout our lives, as long as we continue looking to the Father. Personally, I go through each day recognizing my connection to Him. Through meditation on His Word, prayer, conversation with others about God’s goodness, singing His praises while cleaning or exercising… you get the picture. I don’t have to force myself to stay steadfast in my thoughts toward the Lord, it is my normal operating mode.
Back to my high school teaching days- I did not have the Father in my constant thoughts. In fact, it bothered me that I only prayed, “Help!” on my way into school and, “Thank You, Father” on my way out but had little thought directed His way in between! Since that time, my relationship with the Father has grown through years of trusting Him and finding Him faithful in all things.
I challenge you to evaluate your own level of trust of God in this season of life. Can you also identify increase in comparison to the former years? If you see no measurable growth, is there anything you can change to enhance your ability to keep your mind steadfast on Him? I’ll always be a big proponent of staying in God’s Word. When you open it to read, simply pray that He reveals Himself to you. It is through these encounters that we come to know the Father and His heart toward us.
The Father says you belong with Him and in Him you will find all the things your soul desires. He happens to be an expert on your deepest needs because He created you. Do not look for joy, purpose and peace to be fulfilled in people or situations in life- those things too easily change. Put your trust in the Lord God and discover a new reason for smiling! There’s room for more of us smiling people out there! After all, I hear that a smile can be a ministry. I guess the warmth that it gives can drive out the cold we see shed upon many hearts. And, when they ask why you have a reason to smile, be sure to tell them how good and faithful our heavenly Father is!
“I like smiling! Smiling’s my favorite!” Buddy the Elf