Smile (Proverbs 15:13)

I recently received an email containing a list of clever definitions. One that caught my eye was:

Smile-A curve that can set a lof of things straight.

When circumstances are overwhelming, a smile can often disarm a potentially volatile situation. One particularly painful episode in my past reminded me of this. A major laboratory had just lost its medical director and there was an urgent need to find a replacement. Through a series of negotiations, I was picked to fill this position. It was my first major directorship and I was excited at the prospect. However, when I arrived, I was greeted with a cold and frankly hostile response. The former director was much loved by all the employees and not all the details of his departure were disclosed to the staff. Thus, I was looked upon as the usurper and definitely made to feel unwelcome.

The entire episode was stressful and for the first week, I could not sleep. The workload was oppressive, we were understaffed, and the employees were either passive-aggressive or angry. I wanted to quit. I did not trust God. The turning point came when one of the secretaries came over and did a small favor for me. I looked at her, bleary-eyed, and gave her a warm smile and said, “Thank you. I really appreciate this.” She smiled back, the first time she did. From that moment on, we would smile at each other and the more I smiled, the other employees would also. The ice was beginning to melt. The curve of the smile had set things straight!

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 15:13

During that first week, I had only focused upon my circumstances rather than upon God who was in control of everything that was happening. What a different outcome it may have been if I trusted God. Our face reflects the state of our heart. I did not smile for nearly a week because I was not trusting God. God wants us to rejoice in all circumstances. This is not a false joy but a genuine emotion from gratitude for what He has done for us. Even in hostile situations, we can smile and rejoice if we are trusting in God’s provisions and providence.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.