The Canaanite Woman: When Great Faith Meets Great Action
The most important thing about you is your view of God. I'll never forget reading those words penned by A.W. Tozer. I've always been a proponent of seeing Jesus with a sense of humor.
I read this devotion by Max Lucado, and it sums up exactly how I see our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. — Isaiah 62:5
I have a sketch of Jesus laughing. It hangs on the wall right across from my desk. It’s quite a drawing. His head is back. His mouth is open. His eyes are sparkling. He isn’t just grinning. He isn’t just chuckling. He’s roaring. He hasn’t heard or seen one like that in quite a while. He’s having trouble catching His breath.
It was given to me by an Episcopal priest who carries cigars in his pocket and collects portraits of Jesus smiling. “I give them to anyone who might be inclined to take God too seriously,” he explained as he handed me the gift.
He pegged me well.
I’m not one who easily envisions a smiling God. A weeping God, yes. An angry God, okay. A mighty God, you bet. But a chuckling God? It seems too... too... too unlike what God should do — and be. Which just shows how much I know — or don’t know — about God.
What do I think He was doing when He stretched the neck of the giraffe? An exercise in engineering? What do I think He had in mind when He told the ostrich where to put his head? Spelunking?
What do I think he was doing when he designed the mating call of an ape? Or the eight legs of the octopus? And what do I envision on his face when he saw Adam’s first glance at Eve? A yawn?
As my vision improves and I’m able to read without my stained glasses, I’m seeing that a sense of humor is perhaps the only way God has put up with us for so long.
Is that Him with a smile as Moses does a double take at the burning bush that speaks?
Is He smiling again as Jonah lands on the beach, dripping gastric juices and smelling like whale breath?
Is that a twinkle in His eye as He watches the disciples feed thousands with one boy’s lunch?
Do you think that His face is deadpan as He speaks about the man with a two-by-four in his eye who points out a speck in a friend’s eye? Can you honestly imagine Jesus bouncing children on His knee with a somber face? No, I think that Jesus smiled. I think that He smiled a bit at people and a lot with people. Let me explain with an example.
Are you ever inclined to take God “too seriously”? In what way?
How do you tend to imagine God? How does picturing him laughing and smiling bring you a lightheartedness when looking at your day?
Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. — Exodus 23:14
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4
God is not only the essence of love, power, and mercy... but also the essence of joy. We have a God who told His people to have fun. He set aside weeks for them to put down the plow and celebrate festivals with food and drink. He attended weddings and compared His relationship with us to a bridegroom and a bride... and one of the most joyful days in a woman’s life is the day she sees her groom! Knowing this, how can we not believe in a God who delights in smiling and seeing His children smile? So today, take a moment to just delight in God and His works. Smile at Him as He smiles at you. And the next time you find your faith becoming too rigid, remember the words of the man after God’s own heart:
You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. — Psalm 16:11