O God, in mercy bless us; let your face beam with joy as you look down at us. [Psalm 67:1 (TLB)]
Psalm 67 was my scripture for the day and I wondered how one makes God happy. What puts a smile on His face? What do you give the God who has everything and needs nothing? It’s bad enough at birthdays and Christmas to figure out what to give my husband, but what do we do for our God that will make His face “beam with joy” as He looks down at us? Clearly, neither Amazon nor Sharper Image can be of help on this one. God, however, has provided us with His wish list in the Bible. Perhaps Jesus summarized it beautifully when he gave us two commandments: love God with our entire beings and love others are we love ourselves.
If we want to put a smile on God’s face, we should love Him with the same intensity we did when we first fell in love with that special person in our life. When our love was new, the man who became my husband and I spoke for hours on the phone and couldn’t get enough of each other. I wanted to be with him all the time, I thought about him nearly continuously, I wanted to know everything about him, I talked about him, and I even wrote a poem for him. After nearly half a century together, while the love hasn’t lessened, the intensity has. That kind of passionate attentiveness of young love, however, is what God wants from us—we are to love him with our hearts, souls, and minds! If we love Him that way, we’ll want to spend time in His presence, contemplating His word and listening for His voice. If we love Him that way, we’ll talk to him all day long and be thankful for every one of His gifts. We’ll come to know all we can about Him, grow strong in our faith, be obedient to His word and accepting of His will.
While that sort of devotion may put a smile on His face, there’s more we must do if we truly want God to beam with joy. We have to love others as much as we love ourselves. We must have as much concern for their well-being as we do for our own. We must be as willing to overlook their shortcomings and accept their faults as we are ready to ignore and disregard ours. We have to be as understanding of their issues as we are accepting of ours. We have to be as interested in and supportive of others as we are self-indulgent and accommodating to ourselves. In short, we have to be good and do good, not out of a sense of obligation or duty, but out of love.
What do we give the God who has everything? Love—love for Him and love for our fellow travelers in this world. That’s what will make His face beam with joy as He looks down at us!
As I stumble through this life help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more cheer than gloom, spread more joy than despair. Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy, and forget momentarily all the unpleasantness in their lives. And in my final moment, may I hear You whisper, “When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.” [Nancy Mehl]