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Smile Though Your Heart is Aching
By Karen Verderber

Just look around you. In traffic, on trains, in stores, on the job, how many people do you see smiling? Most people respond that in this world it’s hard to find something to smile about.; i.e. the Iraq War, rising gas prices, home foreclosures, shootings, killings, genocide, HIV Aids and the list goes on. So I guess the bottom line is that you have to make a conscious decision to choose to smile, just the way you have to choose to be happy no matter what this world throws at you. This is how I was programmed to deal with tough times thru my formative years. I grew up hearing my mother sing the words to the song "Smile."

Smile though your heart is aching,
Smile even though it’s breaking,
When there are clouds in the sky,
you’ll get by, if you just smile.

I think of all the gifts given by God to human beings, laughter and smiles must be close to the top, and scientific evidence has been accumulating over the decades to support the biblical principle that "a merry heart doth good like medicine." In a book entitled "The Biology of Hope and The Healing Power of The Human Spirit," Dr. Norman Cousins devotes an entire chapter to smiles and laughter in connection with helping the body in combating serious illness.

Children find it easy to smile; maybe we need to look deep inside ourselves to find the child within us. As we age life has its way of breaking down those smiles that once came with such little effort and replacing them with frowns and worry lines. As they say, life happens when you’re busy making other plans. Sickness, death of a loved one, job loss and divorce are just a few of the smile thieves. However, I believe that there is one more celebration for which we are saving our last smile, and that is to be finally united with Christ and to live with Him forever in Eternity!

This brings a huge smile to my face just thinking about it. Without this knowledge I doubt that most of us would have anything to smile about in this world. Maybe that’s why very often throughout my life I’ve read or heard about someone dying with a smile on their face. Could it be a coincidence or did that person, in their last moment, see who was calling them home?

So the words to the song "Smile" are really empty unless we know Christ as our personal Savior and that He gave His life for us. In retrospect, as I look back on my life, the things and experiences that caused me to smile were not because of any choices that I made, but were the direct result of God’s plans for me and the times that He saved me from making the wrong choices. Left to my own discretion, I know that I would not be smiling today. How about you?

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