“I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17:6-8
Back when my husband and I were only engaged, I received a forwarded email about a “game” that this little old man and his wife had always played where they hid the letters S.H.M.I.L.Y. throughout the house for the other one to find. They would write SHMILY in the fog on the bathroom mirror, in the flour canister, even on the last sheet of toilet paper on the roll! When I read that email, which I now have printed out and in our wedding scrapbook, I showed it to my husband and told him that I would like to do this with him. And ever since then there have been little S(ee) H(ow) M(uch) I L(ove) Y(ou) notes pop up every once in a while. I remember one morning going out to my car before work and my front windshield had already been scraped clean for me. I thought to myself, “He is so sweet!” and then when I turned around to back out of the spot I saw a HUGE SHMILY scrawled across the frost in the rear window!
One April morning in 2010, I was having a yard sale with my friend Kelly. So I knew that it would be a busy day. I wanted to spend some time with the LORD before I started my day, but knew that I wouldn’t have time for a full-out bible study lesson, and I didn’t feel like a devotional was what I needed for the day either. So I sat down in the middle of my bed with my little pocket bible and prayed “LORD, I want to read what You would like for me to know today.” and I opened my bible to a “random” page. It ended up falling on Psalm 17. As I read I feel my heart swell with love for my God, through David’s prayer, I too was praying “Lord, I know you will answer me…” The idea that God bends down to listen to us, like a Father bending down to listen to His small child so that He can make sure to understand him properly. Our God does THAT. 🙂 But then we get to the part that really blew my socks off. “Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.” I’d never thought of asking that of God before! I mean, I know that He loves me, and that it’s a lot, but to ask Him to show me? Didn’t He already do that? Like a Father stretching out His arms wide from side to side and saying “THIS much!” when their child asks them “Daddy, how much do you love me?” Jesus did just that when He spread His arms wide and they nailed them to the cross. Yes, He DID already show us how much He loves us, but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t still show us that love today too… in wonderful ways! That morning when I prayed after reading I prayed, “Lord, I KNOW You love me, and I KNOW that You show me everyday how much You love me. But today, will You show me in a WONDERFUL way, a way that You’ve never shown me before?” At the time I felt that it was an extraordinarily bold request, but I also felt confident that He would answer it as well. One of those times, when you just know He’s heard your prayer and is going to answer it.
Well, I went about my day, selling my “junk” as some called it, and I started to get hungry. In my haste to set up I had skipped breakfast, something I do often, so I grabbed an apple from the fridge. As I bit into the apple I found pink swirls throughout the entire apple! I had NEVER seen an apple like that before! I was amazed and kept Oooohing and Aaaaahing over how beautiful it was and how God had made that apple with the swirls in it just for me to find that morning, all because I’d asked Him to show me His love in wonderful ways. At the very end of the apple eating/marveling my husband walked past me and I just had to show him this apple with the wonderful pink swirls! I held it up for him to see and when I brought it back up to my own face to take another bite, a HEART was staring me in the face!!!!!
I about dropped the apple I was so surprised! Not only had God put swirls in my apple, He had put a HEART in it too!!!!! But not until the end, after I had eaten most of it, because I WAS hungry after all remember. 🙂 God had grown that apple in a particular orchard, in a particular way, so that it would go to that particular store that I was shopping at that day. He made sure that it was placed into a particular bag, and that the bag was placed in a particular position so that it would be the bag that I grabbed and took home. THEN He made sure that I grabbed that very particular apple that morning and had me eat it in a particular way so that when I was done I would be holding it in just the right way to actually SEE the heart that He had put in it just for me. THAT’S a LOT of planning to go into one little SHMILY! But it was from God, so that makes it a little different, because it’s unfailing love! Since that day when God opened my eyes to His unfailing love shown in wonderful ways He has given me hearts and smiley faces all over the place! From my breakfast one morning: (I filled the plate while it was sideways, and then when I picked it up to leave there was this FACE staring up at me!) to a grape in the bottom of a bag full of grapes! He’s even smiled at me from a rock in a friend’s driveway, and yet another apple! And then this morning a heart in a hair tie on the bathroom floor when I walked in . And those are just the ones I was able to take pictures of! There have been SHMILY faces in the soap bubbles of a soaking dish in the sink, SHMILY faces in the crumbs on the counter, and even SHMILY faces in the dirt on the floor! And you know what, I’m detecting a pattern! Many of the SHMILY faces that I’ve seen have been while I was cleaning, often on my knees or doing a humbling act of service, God smiles on a humble servant. 🙂
(Feel free to pray this prayer with David and I today.) Lord God Almighty, I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Amen!