It happened to me awhile back when I was out shopping. A smiling white-haired lady put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Aw, Honey, it can't be that bad."
I stared in confusion and said, "Excuse me? I don't know what you mean."
Eyes twinkling, she smiled and said, "Well, I noticed you look like you lost your last friend. Want you to know whatever the trouble is, you'll get through it and it helps to smile. That's all. Now you take care, Sweetie. Whatever's going on with you, it's just life--and you'll be okay."
I thanked her for caring, still mystified. Then I passed a mirror--and stopped short.
She was right. I did look grim.
Do you ever do that?
That day I realized I probably wore that face more often than I knew. Not a good idea!
- First, because pinching up one's face leads to (gasp!) wrinkles.
- Second, because what people read on our faces affects their moods.
- Third, because if we say we have the joy and peace of Jesus, we'd better look as if we do. Otherwise our words of faith sound empty.
- Fourth--and just as importantly--it's not fair to the people in our world.
Someone has said we owe the world a happy face
You and I affect the people around us. Our families. Our co-workers. Strangers in stores.
Each one is walking around and dealing with their lives and their problems, which may be all they can manage at the moment. Why should they also have to dredge up strength to not "catch" our bad moods?
If we're a mom or dad, when we crackle with tension our kids will walk on tiptoe around us.
What's more, they'll pattern after that as a way to live. To cope.
To them that will be "normal."
Yes, but "Nobody knows the trouble I seen . . . "
That old spiritual speaks truth, doesn't it? Nobody really knows what you or I live with. As the song says, nobody knows our hurt and pain but Jesus.
(Jesus says) "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." --Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
"Heavy laden." Don't we feel that way sometimes?
The NIV translates that verse:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Whether we're feeling overworked and overstressed, weighed down by cares or stuck in a situation we cannot change, He can give us rest.
Rest that lasts.
Eight hours of sleep or a nap refreshes, but true rest for our hearts can be found only one place.
Life. It will wear us down, but Jesus lifts us up. Always.
The key is to turn our thoughts and our hearts to Him instead of getting mired in the problem-of-the-moment.
My friend, I wish you peace and joy in Jesus, today and every day.