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Learning to Smile Through Pain and Suffering

woman looking down

There are days when the seemingly bad things just don’t appear to be getting any better.  It’s so easy for me to look around at what isn’t and feel the urge to question God about my present circumstances.  Then suddenly I am reminded of His Word in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Sometimes I have to replay these words over and over in my mind until they sink deep within my spirit and I am sure- because time, things, and even people can and will make you feel ‘some type of way.’  You’ll find yourself licking your wounds every time you feel hurt when instead you should be opening your mouth and telling God thank you for the opportunities He’s given to you to grow.

More often than not I have to kick my own butt to get out of the ‘woe is me rut’.  It’s ever so tempting to feel sorry for myself when things are not going my way. 

Then once more I am reminded of the Father’s beautiful love letter that reads, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33). 

He didn’t say some stuff would be added unto you.  He said ALL these things shall be added unto you.  Of course conditions apply.  He specifically instructs that we seek FIRST, His way- and then ALL these things will be given to you.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered, what exactly does all mean anyway?  Well, I’ve interpreted it to mean that God will give us our hearts desires- those things that He has promised to us as long as it aligns with the path of righteousness and ae within His will. 

Sometimes we just need a little nudge, a little reminder and a gentle touch that He is still there (and still cares).  I am learning to find those moments whenever I see a rainbow.  In those moments it’s as if He is telling me, “It’s going to be okay.” 

I find those moments whenever there’s an open parking spot when I arrive at the grocery store, or when someone lets me into traffic.

I find those moments when my significant other speaks lovingly to me and text messages me first thing in the morning. 

I find those moments when a shiny nickel is laying at my feet. 

I believe that there are so many opportunities to smile despite how we feel and to thank God even when nothing major has happened yet. 

For me, a blessing doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve attained a new status or even received a tangible gift.  A blessing from God to me is anything that draws my spirit closer to His presence.  It’s every minute and opportunity to tell Him, Thank You!  Whether it’s the first morning’s light of another day that He’s allowed me to see (despite how groggy I may feel), or the knowledge of a friend’s breakthrough- I’m learning to smile anyhow.

He is an awesome God, the one who is worthy of ALL our praise- regardless of how we feel, or how things appear to be right now. 

I encourage you to take a minute and look around at the countless blessings that He’s bestowed over your life. Make a list if you need to.

Then when the enemy tries to rock your boat, remember who’s you are and smile.

God has not forgotten you.

Arrione Jones