We used to sing an old hymn in the small church where I became a believer. It had some great truths in it, truths about what happens at the moment you decided to ask Jesus to be your Saviour and Lord. The hymn itself was written by Isaac Watts way back in the 18th century. But the chorus was added later, by a man named Ralph Hudson, in the late 19th century. It’s the chorus I had trouble with.
It reads: At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away – it was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day.
That last phrase always made me stop singing because it just wasn’t true. I’m not often “happy all the day.”
But there are times when Jesus sure does make me smile.
Like the other day in our tiny church when a woman struggling to pay her mortgage told us about talking to a bank representative who said, in a lovely French accent, “You just have to trust God, Madame.” My friend just about dropped the phone. She had been thinking a lot about that very thing. How could a bank representative in Montreal know what a woman in central Alberta had been thinking? She couldn’t. But Jesus could and does.
Or the time I wasn’t able to get up off the couch in my living room because of the chemo treatment I’d been given. It was a long grey week until a beam of light slipped in and touched a tiny spider plant, making it’s small white blossoms glow and flooding my heart with hope. I knew it was Jesus, just letting me know He was there.
Or the time we were about to advertise a washing machine for sale. My husband felt God telling him to give it away, so he called a neighbour and asked if she might be able to use it. She choked up on the phone. Her washing machine hadn’t been working for over a week and she had no money to replace it. “How did you know?” she asked.
And the “coincidental” fact that several people became part of our congregation just as we were able to purchase a building – people with certain skills, like a realtor, a builder, an electrician, a cabinet maker, just to name a few.
And then there are those emails that come from all over the country and beyond, telling me that something I wrote was “just what I needed to hear today.” And that question, again, “How did you know?”
And then there are those many answers to prayers that are only between me and Him.
No, I’m not “happy all the day.” But Jesus sure does know how to make me smile now and then.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, … to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations…” (Ephesians 3:20).