Last week after Pastor John and I had shared our prayer concerns with one another, John prayed that I would see God’s smile beaming at me. I was struck by his prayer and it has stayed with me ever since. When I lift my inner eyes to the Lord in prayer do I see his smile? I realized that mostly I do not. My feelings of disappointment in myself tend to create a lens that changes God’s smile into a gaze of indifference or a frown. But, the scriptures say that God delights in us (Psalm 18:19 ESV). That delight surely includes a beaming smile of love towards us.
Just as my parent’s beaming smiles greeted me every morning, so God’s radiant smile greets me as well - and it makes no difference how successful I’ve been or haven’t been in my spiritual life.
In the past week, my world seems brighter. As I come downstairs for my morning coffee, I remind myself that God is smiling and I start to perk up even before my first sip of morning brew. Throughout the day when I start to feel down, discouraged or indifferent, I raise my inner eyes to gaze into the radiant smile of God - his smile of favor, unconditional acceptance, desire for relationship, approval.
This morning, I asked Susan Freeman how how she has experienced God this week. She replied, “I sit in the sun and I feel its warmth and I know that it is God smiling on his creation.” It was beautiful to hear this message repeated and confirmed to me! May we all know God’s smile upon us!
Tim Bentch, Lead Pastor