As believers, God’s goodness is the driving force behind our joy. We have the ability to impact others with the joy we hold inside.
Joy is contagious, even if it’s for a moment. We have the power to influence others with our countenance. So, what if we all chose to use our power in positive ways? What if we chose to share the love of God through smiles and joy? We would definitely stand out. What would the impact be on our world around us?
A Rare Smile
I’m not one to wear a smile. It’s not that I’m unhappy, it’s that my face just doesn’t rest on joy. My husband’s goal every day is to get me to smile. Genuinely smile. I just don’t think about it. My resting face is typically blank. That being said, a quick moment made me realize how important a smile can be…
I stopped for a pedestrian. It’s not uncommon, as my usual driving route takes me through a college campus. This day was different, though. It was raining. I saw her yellow rain coat coming down the stairs, her arms full of books and coffee, and no umbrella to shield her. I didn’t receive the awkward wave that usually ends pedestrian/driver interactions. Like I said, her hands were full. So, all she could do was smile at me. It wasn’t a quick glance, smile, and walk on. She smiled and kept smiling to make sure I saw her. We locked eyes and I couldn’t help but smile too. I acknowledged her, she acknowledged me, and for a brief moment two strangers brightened each other’s day.
I know that there is nothing better for people, than to be happy and to do good while they live.
Ecclesiastes 3:12, NIV
On a gray, rainy day, I needed some light. One thing that usually makes me happy is helping others. In fact, acts of service is how I show love. Yeah, obeying traffic laws isn’t much for “acts of service”, but I’ve seen other drivers speed through this campus, paying no mind to people trying to get from one point to another on foot. So, I serve my fellow humans by slowing down and pausing my day for them.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16, NIV
Now, I don’t know if “Yellow Raincoat” actually needed her day brightened, but having good done to her, made her happy. I could tell her smile was genuine, not forced. She didn’t know I needed to see her smile, but God used her to uplift my spirit. It’s goodness this world needs, and for a moment we helped each other.
Provision Through A Smile
You could say “Yellow Raincoat” not only brightened my dreary day, but she inspired me to write about joy. God is so good. He heard my heart, and provided sustenance to multiple needs through one small action. I needed inspiration and to be uplifted. I needed to be reminded that there is still goodness in this dark world.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2, NIV
Our interaction reminds me that I have an impact, even if it’s small. Humans are silly. We all walk around, acting like we don’t need one another. The truth is, we all need each other. We are in this world together. Each one of us has an effect on the other. Whether it be our day, our mood, our whole life, the effect a stranger can have is undeniable.
Joy in God
So, which way does the can go? Does the stranger have a positive or negative effect? Unfortunately, the latter happens more often. There is an underlying heaviness in us all. We feel the darkness in the world. We carry it around, knowingly or unknowingly. It shows all over our faces, postures, beings. Because we are human, we are prone to negativity. It’s easier to be sad and depressed, than to push through with joy.
Our joy rests in the goodness of God. He is so, so good. We have a merciful, generous Father. He bestows undeserving redemption on us every day. His goodness and love breaks through any darkness, heaviness, or tragedy. We can find happiness and joy in this life, because He is our God.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14, NIV
Don’t hide your powerful smile. Be intentional about showing joy. Allow your joy to reach strangers and don’t pass up opportunities to allow your joy to testify of God’s goodness.
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