sight

Smile Pretty

I think 'cheerfulness' is an underrated characteristic. Women want to be beautiful, intelligent, successful, sassy, et cetera, et cetera. But I rarely hear 'cheerful' at the top of the list. And we always seem to have something in our lives to complain about. When people ask how we are, we can often respond with negativity. "I'm not feeling well."

"I lost my job."

"I'm so annoyed with so-and-so."

"I'm so broke."

"I'm just too busy."

There's always something to gripe about and blame our bad moods on. Now, I don't want to trivialize the things we go through in life. I just want to throw it out there that at times, we get too caught up in our own pity parties. We allow our negativity to drain the energy of those around us. Be honest with yourself. Are there days when conversations seem to become all about you and your frustrations? Are there days when you just don't feel like smiling and being cheerful at all?

Proverbs 17:22 "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength."

Recently, I spent the night in the ICU with my sister so she wouldn't be alone when she awoke throughout the night. Before I went to the hospital, my husband said, "Be happy in the room so she stays calm." With all the tubes and machines, it wasn't an easy sight to see. I felt the furthest thing from happy. I was frustrated, worried, and sad at what was happening.  But my husband's words stuck in my head. I knew that the best way I could help the environment was to put my sad face aside and be as cheerful as possible. Which meant smiling big every single time she woke up, making jokes about everything I could, and singing "Happy Birthday" to her in my most horrible voice.

The point is, I didn't feel cheerful. We often don't. But one way to make the world a better place is to simply be cheerful in your interactions with others. Cheerfulness is one trait I've been trying to cultivate within the last couple of years. Everyone has their negative stuff going on, but we really can pour into a person's life just by being cheerful. More often than not, let's show off our smiles and be a light. Let's walk into a room and bring positivity!

Prayer: God, help us to walk with Your joy in our hearts. Even when our troubles drain us, let us bring positivity and cheerfulness into the lives around us. Let us be lights! Amen.

GO FORWARD

Pretend you are standing on the banks of The Red Sea watching this scene unfold as it did in Exodus 14. Moses had just lead over six hundred thousand Israelites, along with their herd of cattle, out of Egypt where they had been slaves for over 430 years.  At last they were on their way to Canaan, the land God had promised was theirs to inherit.

But Pharaoah, the Egyptian king and his army, came after them in hot pursuit.  When the Israelites saw Paharaoh and his army coming, they began to cry out to Moses:  "It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die out here in The Wilderness."

God spoke to Moses and said:

Tell the children of Israel to "GO FORWARD."

"Go forward?"  "The Red Sea is in front of us!"  "Are you sure, God?"

But God knew what do about The Red Sea.  "Stretch out your hand over the sea," were His words to Moses.  As Moses stretched his hand over the sea, an amazing sight took place.

  • A strong east wind blew.
  • The waters divided, the sea became dry land, and they crossed to the other side.
  • The Egyptians pursued.
  • The sea returned, and all the Egyptians drown.
  • Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hands of the Egyptians, and they continued on their journey.

Now, one would think that after that miraculous delivery that the Israelites would never doubt that they could not make it to Canaan and receive the inheritance God had promised them.  However, only two people of the original group, Joshua and Caleb, made it to Canaan.

Why only two?  I believe one of the main reasons Joshua and Caleb made it into Canaan was that they never lost sight of the vision God had given them.  Not only that, but they acted upon that vision despite the circumstances they faced and the people around them who didn't believe it was possible.

Has God given you a vision and dream for your life?  Hold onto it and GO FORWARD!

And yes, God can part The Red Sea in your life to get you there.