Do you ever read the billboards along the highway? I try. Some have text so small I can’t see it from my car. Some have too many words to read in the few seconds I have to glance at the board. Some just don’t make any since. I like the simple ones with a straight forward graphic and 20 words or less in big bold letters. God gave us a few great billboard ideas in His word. A big smiley face with the caption “smile God loves you.” or “LOL – it’s good for your health.” Now that would get my attention.
So, what do these billboard ideas have to do with my journey to good health? Smiling and laughing are good medicine. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Did you know that God imparted that wisdom to us through King Solomon.
Happiness makes a person smile. But sadness breaks a person’s spirit. (Prov. 15:13, ICB)
It was brought to my attention that through many years of sickness and general stress of a growing family, I forgot how to smile. No wonder I’ve been so sick and depressed. I’ve been thinking a great deal about joy and why I don’t feel joyful very often. Then one day God whispered in my ear one word – COUNTENANCE. I never really thought about what that word meant. I just assumed it had to do with a smiling face. So, I asked my friend Webster. Countenance simply means the expression of the face. I could have a sad, angry, or joyful countenance. The choice is mine. You know the old saying ‘fake it till you make it?’ Maybe if I put a smile on my face even if I don’t feel like it, I will begin to feel the joy I’ve been missing. After all King Solomon tells us in Prov. 15:30 that a cheerful look brings joy to the heart. Maybe the key to feeling joy is to put a smile on my face and act like I have joy.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’ (Num 6:24-26, NKJV)
Think about this. A shining face usually means a smiling one. So basically this blessing says that God will smile at you and me. This smile of God will bless us and give us peace. A smiling face can also indicate a joyful spirit. If God’s smile brings a blessing on me, can I conclude that my smile will therefore bless others?
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. You have put gladness in my heart. (Ps 4:6-7)
King David prayed that God would smile upon him. He knew that God’s smile would fill his heart with gladness. Who wouldn’t want God to smile at them? For that matter who doesn’t enjoy it when anyone, even a stranger on the street, smiles at them? I always get a good feeling when someone smiles at me. I don’t know about you but I want to know that God is smiling down on me. He may not always be happy with my actions, but He smiles at me because He loves me. I am his child. Truly joyful people walk around knowing that God smiles at them. We are blessed when we have a song in our heart. We’ll have a song in our heart when we remember that Jesus is smiling at us.
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk,
O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.
In Your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted. (Ps 89:15, NKJV)
Smiling is contagious. Therefore, if God is smiling at me, shouldn’t I be smiling at those around me? I am blessed when I have a joyful countenance, and I pass that blessing along to others when I smile at them. I want to bless my family as well as those I might meet in the grocery store or pass by on the street. I will practice my smile for my husband and my children.
Dear Lord, help me to smile more. May Your word be joy and rejoicing to my heart. (Jer 15:16).