He coaxed me out of bed early this morning to share the sunrise with Him, as He brushed a white snow canvas with shades of orange and pink.
I felt the warmth of His smile as the sunshine returned after a late spring snowstorm, and could just imagine Him chuckling at the pine trees so weighted down with snow they looked more at home on the front of a Christmas card than on a calendar flipped to the month of May.
And I thought I even heard Him laugh out loud when I reached the bottom of (the hill we call) our driveway and triggered a sudden avalanche down my windshield from the foot of snow on the roof of our van.
It’s good to feel His smile.
I came across this very cool verse as I was reading through the book of Proverbs last month: “When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain.” (Proverbs 16:15) (Or, in our case, a spring snow.) Let the words soak into your heart like the melting snow refreshes and revives the dry plains.
To be in Christ means that The King’s favor is upon you. It means that when He looks at you, He smiles.
Jesus once stood in a crowded Jewish synagogue and announced that “…the time of the Lord’s favor has come…” (Isaiah 61:2 and Luke 4:19). This was a game changer. No longer was God’s favor tied to man’s strict observance of the Law. It was now a gift realized through one’s vital union with the Messiah.
But old habits die hard. So Paul challenges our natural human bent toward performance in the book of Galatians: “You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.” (Galatians 4:10) Or by…? Fill in the blank. What ways are you still trying to earn God’s favor?
Whatever it is, IT is no longer necessary. Jesus’ perfection earned our admission into the throne room of the King. We don’t come fearfully, as Esther did when she risked her life daring to approach the king unsummoned. We enter by His own personal invitation, and can be confident that when our eyes meet His, we will find them wrinkled in a warm and welcoming smile.
If you belong to Christ, every day is a day you can know God is smiling down on you. For the time of the Lord’s favor has come. You can’t earn it. Just believe it. And feel the warmth radiating from His beaming face.
When God looks at you, He smiles.
“May His face smile with favor upon (you!)” (Psalm 67:1b)
(All Scripture references are from The New Living Translation of the Bible.)