Life is hard, and then we die, some people say. Others work to fill their days with something, anything, just so they won’t feel bored. Neither is a happy way of looking at life.
On top of this sort of everyday ennui, we also have the news. It’s bad enough that we have to learn about the latest home invasion in a nearby town, but now we see the images of the attack on spectators at the Boston Marathon. Something fun and healthy and traditional which should be celebrated, turned into a horrific memory of anonymous cruelty and devastation.
The world’s become such a fun place!
Nevertheless, there are people who make me smile:
- The long distance friend who calls me every year for my birthday
- The writer who sent me a copy of her book so I can read and review
- The former student who has become a good friend
- The pastor whose face lights up when he sees me
- The neighbor who surprised me with a bowl of fresh fruit
- The Facebook friend who posts pictures of her kids reading and writing instead of watching TV
- Another Facebook friend who talks basketball with me
- A former teacher friend who passes along interesting newspaper articles
- The cross country friend who talks theology with me over the phone
Which brings me to the most important Person who makes me smile. Yes, I’m talking about Jesus, the Messiah, seated now at the right hand of God. But He makes me smile because of what He did for me at the cross, what He does for me daily through His Spirit, and what He will do for me throughout eternity.
I realize this is all very “me”-centric, but the cool thing is, Jesus is the kind of friend who can give and give and give without ever wearing out. In other words, what He gives to me in no way exhausts His supply of gifts so that He has nothing for the next person. In fact, there is no end to what He wants to give each of us.
This is one of the truths the word of faith people have right–up to a point. The really cool thing about Jesus is that He knows what I need even when it’s different from what I think I need. Being a Good God, He will not give me something I want when He knows it would be bad for me. Parents who spoil their children do that–giving candy for breakfast, letting them stay up until 2:00 a.m., allowing them to ditch school whenever they want.
God loves me, so He won’t give me razor blades to play with just because I ask. Rather, His good gifts–even the ones that feel like cod liver oil instead of ice cream–are designed to draw me closer to Him, to shape me in the image of Jesus.
What could be better? To think that the One who knows all the stupid stuff I’ve done, the hateful stuff I’ve wanted to do, the selfish stuff I try to do–that King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that One Who is highest and best, accepts me, loves me, and wants me to hang with Him forever. Yeah, that One makes me smile.