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A Reason to Smile
When hard times hit, there's a way to keep smiling.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen the picture. There he was, my 13-year-old son Adam in his bathing suit—laying in the snow—making a snow angel!

… consider things from His eternal perspective.

I still get the shivers just looking at it. Why would he do that to himself? Was this some kind of cruel initiation to a Canadian junior Polar Bear Club? Or was he simply a few fries short of a "Happy Meal"? One more question: how could he possibly be smiling? Well, here's the rest of the story.

Adam was at a friend's house, and in the backyard they had one of those year-round hot tubs. So he borrowed a bathing suit, and in they went. Periodically they would take a courageous jump out of the tub, make a quick snow angel, and dart back into the tub—all in the span of about three seconds. Yes, there was pain, but Adam was able to smile because he knew it was only for a brief moment.

The Lord has never promised us that there would be no pain or struggles in this life, But He does promise to be with us in our tough times and give us a deep-rooted joy—a reason to smile—as we consider things from His eternal perspective. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17,18).

Let's face it, Jesus Himself endured the most excruciating pain imaginable as He willingly suffered for us on that cruel cross. Yet inside He was smiling—He knew what was coming! Hebrews 12:2 says of Jesus, " … who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus—our ultimate example of eternity-focussed courage.

In the midst of your tough times, let your family and friends see a "snap-shot" of you smiling. Guaranteed, they will start asking questions, wondering about your sanity. And that's when you can introduce them to your example—and tell them the rest of the story!

Ron Mainse is president of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., and host of the 100 Huntley Street television program which is aired daily across Canada. Web site:

Originally published in Compass, April 2003.




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