ODJ: smile

October 10, 2015 

READ: Psalm 29:1-11 

The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace (v.11).

I once met a beautiful East African girl named Mercy, a patient at a hospital where I volunteered in Kampala, Uganda. During one of my visits, the girl’s teenage brother summoned me to his sister’s bed. He explained that their parents had died and he, at age 14, was his sister’s sole carer. “I have learned you and a Mzungu man [my friend, David Kuo] gave pillows to the patients last week,” he said. “My sister, named Mercy, wasn’t here when you came. She has never slept on a pillow before. Would you please bring her one?”

Mercy had the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. The sweet child was dying of both cancer and AIDS (contracted from her mother during childbirth). She was a mere skeleton, yet she displayed what Proverbs 15:13 reveals: “A glad heart makes a happy face.”

As I looked into Mercy’s beautiful eyes, I knew I was witnessing someone who was profoundly experiencing God’s strength and peace (Psalm 29:1,11); the inexplicable peace described in Philippians 4:7 that guards the hearts and minds of those in Christ Jesus.

The next day I brought Mercy a pillow. Her huge smile grew even wider. I sat and held her hand a long time. The following day I returned to visit her again. Her bed was empty. I searched the ward and was heartbroken to learn she had died that morning. The hospital let me view her body to say goodbye. Her head was resting on the pillow on which she had slept for just one night, and her mouth was closed . . . but smiling.

Today, let’s ask God to help us grasp more profoundly what Mercy knew—that He will never abandon His children for He rules forever (Psalm 29:10; Isaiah 49:15). In that, we can know true peace, and smile.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day-plan: Acts 3:12-4:4

Read Jude 1:2 and list the three things God wants you to have more and more of. 
According to Psalm 37:37, what kind of future awaits those who love peace? What about God and His ways makes you smile today?