Friday, October 23, 2009

What's In A Smile

I subscribe to daily encouragement emails from Rest Ministries. I didn't write this one, but reading Fiona Burrows' words sure felt like they could have come from my pen. Rather than trying to recapture the concepts in my own words, I forward her thoughts along to share my heart. The following is reprinted with permission of Rest Ministries, Inc. in accordance with their reprint guidelines; do not reprint without permission.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength." (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV)

People often comment about my smile. I seem to smile a lot and that's often what people notice most about me. A lady I met when travelling some years ago, said she thought I smiled so much, I must even smile in my sleep!

Smiling seems to come naturally to me, but I know too, that I sometimes smile because I am nervous, insecure, or even if I can't remember someone's name. So sometimes its like a mask.

When people find out that I live with chronic pain, they sometimes say about how they never guessed because they see me smiling. Some people even ask how I can smile when I am putting up with such pain. They say I don't look like I'm in pain.

Whilst I might continue to smile, there are many days when I don't feel I have much to smile about. Things I can't do anymore, things that just seem so difficult. There may be lots of things going on in my life that would make me feel I don't want to smile – but I still have an overwhelming reason to smile.

God gives me a reason to smile – a reason to feel joyful, even in the face of pain – He is the one in control of my life. He has promised to never ask me to go though more than I can bear and promised to always be there beside me, no matter what I am going through.

My face can be the first thing people notice about me. I want my life and my face, to greet them with something that reflects the hope I have, even in the midst of my pain.

Prayer: Father God, may we find a reason to smile today, even in the midst of sickness or pain, because of the hope we have in You. Amen

Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful for the difference God makes in her life as she lives with chronic pain. She enjoys finding time for writing, travel and photography.

This daily devotional is compliments of Rest Ministries, serving people who live with chronic illness or pain. Copyright 1998-2009

Rest Ministries, Inc.
PO Box 502928, San Diego, CA 92150
toll-free 1-888-751-REST (7378)

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