COLUMNS

Smile, God Loves You: Tell me something good

Tiffany Chartier
Special to Texoma Marketing and Media Group

In the sunshine it rained today. I stepped outside my office and stretched to the sky. Liquid drops reflected light - a kaleidoscope of color - like glittering gemstones showering me with kisses, one after the other. As odd as it may seem, I returned indoors feeling viewed by God. And without understanding or overthinking, I touched my hand to recall the feeling of the falling, summery rain more than once during the remainder of the afternoon. With each touch, I was reminded that God’s light can be felt in the storm.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, NIV.)

By the time the doors locked at the end of the day, the ground was wet and the sky was a sleepy grey – almost as if the clouds themselves were tired from crying. I, too, felt suddenly exhausted. The last couple of weeks have been long and my energy short. But as I received a phone call from a friend on the drive home, I did not hesitate with my answer to her question.

“Tell me something good,” she inquires, beating me to asking her the same. She and I always ask this of one another, and inevitably it sparks a conversation that leaves us feeling better than when we started.

“I felt the eyes of God upon me today. Reaching out to the sun, being touched by the rain. I could have stayed there longer, and I stayed for quite some time.”

“Hmm…” she replies.

“What?”

“I think it’s interesting you said you reached to the sun on a rainy day. Most would say they reached to touch the rain. And I don’t think you would have stayed there as comfortably for so long if it were not for your focus.”

My friend knows me well. She is correct; without the presence of the light, the rain would have affected me more. I would have fixated on what was falling upon me and around me - cold and uncomfortable. I would have felt drenched more than touched. Surrounded in darkness and wondering if the storm would come to an end before it upended me.

One of my faults is that I often desire to understand too much and overthink what I do not understand. This can lead to having Satan splash water on my face and attempt to convince me that I am drowning. I am not drowning; instead, I am merely being touched by a confused and compromised world. Whatever falls upon me is unquestionably a part of my reality, but the storm does not define me unless I give it more attention than I give God. And when my attention is off God, I am the one who is left confused and compromised.

With God’s light upon me, however, I realize He is present in every single drop of the downpour – a kaleidoscope of His sovereignty and sincere desire for us to seek Him above all. He knows our sufferings as well as our fears. And while He may not always quiet the thunder or prevent the strikes, He will forever calm our spirit by surrounding us with His love, light, and power as we pursue Him and move THROUGH the storm.

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:4, NLT).

God cannot protect and comfort us if He is not steadily and closely watching over us. Remember this truth: God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. His watch declares no boundary of time, nor is He under the watch of anything or anyone. Nothing takes God by surprise. He knows exactly when the storm will cease, how long we will be called to walk, and what changes will be made around us and in us as we depend upon God to see us THROUGH.

There is never a moment that God’s presence is removed from us. “God is Light” (1 John 1:5) – and when we focus on the Light, the darkest valleys can touch us, but not consume us. We are made to put into practice faith – to walk through with God close beside us. Do not focus on the darkness. Keep walking.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NIV).

Tell me something good …

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.