Those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces will never be covered with shame.
On February 4, 1863, six men left the mining camp of Bannock (later renamed “Bannack” after a clerical error in Washington D.C.). These prospectors went looking for gold by the Yellowstone River, but, by intruding on Indian land, they were captured by Crow warriors and held captive in a large Indian camp.
They escaped, but were pursued relentlessly by the Crow. The prospectors were hungry and frequently lost.
On May 26, they were camped at a little lake in the Gravelly Mountain range. Two of the men, Bill Fairweather and Barney Hughes, climbed to a nearby summit which they named “Old Baldy.”
It was a good day. Their overview of the area gave them confidence they were no longer pursued by Indians. They identified a landmark which told them they were only four days from Bannock. They had the leisure to shoot elk and bighorn sheep to replenish their nearly exhausted food supplies. They had time to rest their horses.
But best of all, at a little creek, they discovered gold. Lots of it.
They christened the stream, Alder Creek, and headed into town. They all agreed not to breathe a word about their discovery to a soul. They would go to Bannock to resupply and then return to Alder Creek to continue panning.
But, after they restocked their supplies and headed back to their gold find, they were shocked to discover half the town of Bannock following them.
Alright, who squealed?
No one. The miners from town said their beaming faces gave them away.
In his psalm, David says that those who look to the Lord are radiant.
The moon emits no light of its own. It shines because it reflects the light it receives from the sun. When our hearts are exposed to the blazing brilliance of God’s love, we simply reflect it.
Sour-faced Christians, on the other hand, advertise a God who prefers to scowl.
When we talk about reflecting the joy of the Lord by our radiant faces, however, we are walking into a dangerous place. Simply put: it encourages hypocrisy. Have you ever seen believers who wear phony, manufactured happiness? Their plastered smiles don’t look like a reflection of God’s grace. They look artificial – as if they feel a need to impress others with their glowing “radiance.”
Instead, they look kind of creepy.
Jesus radiated light. He was the light of the world. He didn’t have to put on an act. Sometimes he was sad and wept; sometimes he was angry. But I don’t think he had to tell you he lived in harmony with the Father. His face betrayed his secret.
(copyright 2012 by Marty Kaarre)