Smile! You have the joy of salvation!


This week I went to the grocery store with my son. Just as we were ready to leave, I said to him, “Wait a minute. Let me check my list one more time to make sure we got everything.” I stopped right there next to the refrigerated milk section and looked down to check my phone. “Yup,” I said, “we forgot about getting your hamburgers.”

When I looked up, my son was gone.


I wasn’t worried. He is getting older and we were in our neighborhood store. He certainly knew his way around. I figured he hadn’t heard me say I needed to check my list one more time and had headed to the cash registers for checkout.

One thing for sure, I knew we would find each other.


I grabbed the burgers and headed to the checkout line, certain to see my son.

It had been just two minutes.

Hmmm, he wasn’t there.


While craning my neck and scanning tops of heads for his blonde buzz cut, I began to put my items on the conveyor belt to check out the few items we had purchased.

It had now been about two more minutes.

It didn’t take long for the cashier to ask for payment. While handing him my card, I asked,

“May I leave my cart here so I can go find my son?”


Perhaps seeing my concern, the cashier asked, “Do you want me to page him for you?”

“Yes, please.”

Clay, come to checkout line 9. Clay, come to checkout line 9.


The request was broadcasted nicely through every aisle of the store.

Still craning my neck and scanning for his blonde head, I waited.

Then I saw him! Found!


With a grin on his face and hands in his sweatshirt pocket, he came alongside me to exit the store and walk to the car.

“Mom, I was scared.”

“Me too, buddy! I was ready to call the National Guard. I wasn’t going to leave the store without turning everything upside down to look for you!”

“When I heard my name on the loudspeaker I smiled. I smiled so much I put my hand up over my mouth.”


My son demonstrated. Hand still in his sweatshirt pocket, he brought his hand up to his mouth. 

He added, “It was embarrassing how much I was smiling.”


So cute, right? Melts my heart every day.

  • He smiled when he heard his name.
  • He smiled when he was found.
  • He smiled uncontrollably.


Paging for a person who had wandered away reminds me of the garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve broke their relationship with a holy God, they were “lost.” Genesis 3: 8,9 describes what happens next:

(8) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

(9) But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”


Genesis 3:9 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Ever since that day in the garden, God has not stopped calling out, “Where are you?” He has been on His paging system unabashedly broadcasting His search for each of us living on the globe.

And for when our ears hear our name from God Himself…when we know we are found…

We smile.


In fact, we smile uncontrollably, so much so that we would be embarrassed if someone saw us grinning so much!

David lost the joy of his salvation and cried out in Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” A commentary on this verse reminds us that “ None but God can give back this joy; he can do it; we may ask it; he will do it for his own glory and our benefit.”


Have we lost the glory of being found?

I wonder. My grocery store incident challenged me.


No matter what my circumstances, I want to be able to smile uncontrollably over the joy of my salvation alone.

How about you?


Let your heart hear His voice today calling out, “Where are you?”

And smile.


© 2016 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

4 Responses

  1. Very well written, Laurie. Excellent comparison and lesson. Can I use it in a sermon in the next few weeks? Love the story!

    1. I am glad you liked it! Yes, you may use the story in a sermon. Once the words post, they belong to God. 😉

  2. I loved the post and the reminder that no one can take our joy from us! We need to be careful that our joy doesn’t fade away. It is up to us!

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