Have you ever experienced God’s smile? During a recent trip to California, I had an encounter that revealed God’s smile.
The days leading up to my trip were filled with preparation and tying loose ends before I left town. I was tired and overwhelmed. As I got off the plane, I thought, I can’t wait to get to the hotel to get some rest before the conference starts. I boarded a shuttle to the hotel. There were some passengers on board already. At the next stop the driver picked up another passenger. He was about 7.5 feet tall and about 350 pounds. He sat next to me and immediately asked my name and what brought me to the city. I told him I was attending a conference. His name was Tim. He was attending a Christian conference on how to help people cope with loss. He greeted everyone on the shuttle and asked each person what brought them to this city.
At the next stop, we picked up another passenger. Tim introduced himself and other passengers to the new passenger. He introduced each person by deliberately mispronouncing their name or giving them a new name. Anyway, before long he had everyone on the shuttle cracking up. He was hilarious. He told clean jokes. He picked on Dan, an elderly man who sat in the passenger’s front seat. Dan lived in that city for 35 years but did not have a sun tan. Tim joked about Dan’s missing tan. He recommended ways that Dan could improve his tan.
When all the laughter subsided, I asked Tim to tell me more about his conference. He told me that his brother’s wife was dying of cancer and he was attending this conference to learn how to help his brother cope with his wife’s cancer and her death eventually. Tim was dealing with some serious stuff yet he managed to get everyone on that shuttle laughing.
I got off at the hotel and didn’t think too much about this encounter until I ran into Tim and his sister in the hotel lobby the next day. He introduced his sister and asked how my conference was going. It was then I shared that besides my profession, my passion is women’s ministry, encouraging women by pointing them to Jesus. Tim got real quiet and thanked me for my service to the Lord. As he and his sister left, it dawned on me that this was no chance encounter.
Tim showed God’s love on that shuttle, not in an intimidating way but in a way that showed that he genuinely loved people. For a moment, while riding on the shuttle, Tim made us forget our troubles and laugh. God smiled on me and the other passenger’s through this man’s gift of humor.
God knew I needed encouragement and He provided it in many ways. However, God saved the best for last. At the end of my conference, I made a quick stop at the mall to pick something for my kids. It was dusk when I came out of the mall. I saw a glorious display of God’s smile in the sunset. I reached for my cell phone, it was dead but thankfully I had my ipad to capture this beauty. I stood speechless as I watched the sky in awe and thanked God for this gift.
A gift that said, “I love you. This is for you. I have you covered. Don’t worry about anything…… trust me.
Seeing this sunset changed my focus from my problems to worship and gratitude…… the Lord of the universe loves me enough to display His glory in a breath taking sunset…Wow!
How does God smile at you? Do you pay attention to ways in which God smiles to encourage you……perhaps through nature, a beautiful sunset, a rainbow, or a person?
Psalm 19:1, The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (NIV)
Psalm 56:3, When I am afraid, I will trust in you. (NIV)
Isaiah 12:2, Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. (NIV)