Six year-old Jaden lost his dad when he was four. Two years later his mom died in her sleep. While heartbroken at the loss of his parents, at one point he approached his caretaker Aunt and told her he was “sick and tired of seeing people sad all the time.” Jaden came up with a plan. He had his aunt buy little toys and then began targeting people who were not smiling to give each a toy. The impact this young orphan is making is beautiful. He’s made over 500 people smile so far with a goal of touching 33,000. To see his inspiring story go to http://omeleto.com/215068/.
Isaiah 43:18,19—Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.
Imagine how crushed you would feel if your country was overrun. Family members were beaten, raped, gunned down and deported. Beautiful buildings you grew up admiring were razed to the ground. Forests were deliberately burned, crops destroyed and life as you knew it forever changed. While you are living in exile, a prophet of God comes and tells you to stop thinking about all those horrible things because God promises to restore what was destroyed and bring a much better future.
Somehow an orphan figured out that there was no future in living in a depressed present tied to a painful past. Jaden has probably never heard of the prophet Isaiah but I’m sure he would like his sage advice. And we too would do well to contemplate God’s word through Isaiah. Stop dwelling on a painful past!
Tragedy-focused living leads to depression. It aligns with the word “can’t.” It wears frowns to face sunrises and turns away words of encouragement as frivolous, insensitive and useless. It operates in fear. It loses hope in a dark corner painted in defeat. It wrinkles the skin, tenses the bones and throbs unmercifully. It has forgotten how to sing. Don’t go there.
Jesus-lovers have no mandate to dwell in the bog of yesterday’s defeat. We live in the promise of new bodies, joyful fellowship and the privilege of presence with the One who made us. Whatever bad happened cannot match or undo the incredible future God has for us. So smile at others and let them feel the deeper faith that marks your mettle. Do you not see it? God is making a way in the wilderness and it’s wise to trust His handiwork!
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.—Mother Theresa
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)