April 27, 2021
“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3, KJV).
Mark is a good friend, a physician and a follower of Christ. He recently passed through a dark year of burnout but has recovered stronger than he was before the struggle. Mark now works hard at 75 percent of his previous workload. During his recovery he began (and continues) to take long walks on which he listens to Scripture. During one such recent walk, he experienced an overwhelming sense of God’s presence. In that moment, he responded, “Lord, thank you for walking with me.” And then, very clearly, he felt God smile.
How often have you felt the smile of God? Do you know how wonderful it is?
Why don’t we more often experience the profound satisfaction of knowing that God is with us and happy with our lives?
A couple of possibilities:
Sometimes we may not sense God’s smile because God is not smiling. Sometimes, we may have turned away from Him toward a sin we will not let go or a relationship that does not honor Him. Perhaps we have taken back ownership of our lives to “fulfill” ourselves or accomplish good things that are not God’s thing. Perhaps we miss the smile of God because He’s really not smiling. Someone I love very much at the age of 15 was carried away in a squad car, looking back at me with fear in his eyes. I was not smiling then, though my love for him was deeper than I had ever known before.
I must examine my life and determine if sin or ownership or directional issues have kept God from smiling at me.
My hope is that God smiles at me a lot more than I know, and I just miss it. I miss God’s smile because the world is plastering an opaque layer of busyness over my eyes, even as I help layer the plaster; and I am not alone. I suspect that many of us try to walk God’s road but are walking with obstructed vision. God may be smiling, and we just don’t know. We want to feel God’s presence but refuse to do our part in building that relationship. We fail to let go of our time for our stuff to spend time with our God, doing God’s stuff. We fail to spend time in His Word, where He speaks most clearly.
Sometimes God, in His mercy, may send us through the fire to burn off the plaster that covers our eyes; and the fire hurts; but we come through the other side taking long walks with Jesus, listening to His Word, as we clearly feel His smile of love and approval.
Perhaps I can learn from Mark’s burning even before God decides I need the flames.
Let me know the presence of your smile.