Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statues. Psalm 119:135
When lovers who haven’t seen each other in a a long time walk into the same room, there is a pregnant moment when their faces light up. Eyes widen, wordless exclamations pour out, and then arms are opened wide to embrace without any thought of restraint. Sheer happiness causes their faces to shine.
One of the meanings of ‘shine’ in this text is what happens when the sun arises at daybreak. The dark begins to abate with the glorious entrance of light on the horizon. It is not just any light; it is a bit orange and golden. Nothing resembles a sunrise because it has characteristics all its own. Perhaps David is trying to convey that God is so warmed by His children that His countenance is transformed when He sees us. It is like the dawning of a sunrise upon the heart. What a beautiful picture.
To feel the warmth of His smile is to have the best of all gifts today. I can stand in any storm if I know His face is turned toward me. I can find endless reserves of strength if I know that His face is traced with tenderness. David did not ask for more power, more wealth, or even more peace. He asked for God’s smile. In the radiance of God’s favor, David wants to be taught. The love of instruction is never greater than when one worships the Teacher. David is the star pupil in a class of one. God is not a distant professor but a warm, engaging, and storytelling Father.
Bring to me the sunrise of your smile, Father. Then let my face be radiant with all the effects of You. Amen