Reversals and Gloom with a Smile

I know, it’s a bit of a leap from fasting to difficult times.
But when economic conditions changed this time,
I remembered the scripture
About going about looking gloomy
When in the middle of a fast to make sure
Everyone knew you were ‘hungry’,
But ‘keeping my vows of fasting.’

The scripture goes on to say,
But get up, take a shower,
Do your hair,
Put on your best clothes
And go out looking happy.
God will be the one who gives the reward,
Not the people who admire your piety.

It was a corporate decision, not a private one.
The people around us know.
No amount of pretending will fool anyone.
So now, do I go around thoughtful, slightly worried,
Do I talk about the what’s not going to happen
In these hard times?
Do I practice my gloomy face?

No, I think I’ll get up,
Take a shower,
Do my hair,
Put on nice clothes,
And resume my trust in God.
We will cut back, simplify life, eat out less.
Everyone has to do it more that once in their lives.

I review the times we’ve been here before,
And remember God didn’t desert us then.
He will care for us now.
And going around with a gloomy face and unhappy eyes
Might make people feel compassion, but won’t change things.
It only denies God’s glorious keeping, providing,
Encouraging, reviving, powerful presence at work in my life.

“When you go without eating, do not look gloomy like those who only pretend to be holy. They make their faces very sad. They want to show people they are fasting. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. Matthew 6:16 NIV Readers Edition

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