Isaiah's Smile

  • Oct. 12, 2017
  • #9249

Everyone has a ministry. Some are obvious while others are subtle. What is your ministry?

Isaiah at Family Retreat

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I wonder: what’s your ministry?

I ask because every Christian, absolutely every believer, every disciple of Jesus Christ has a ministry. It might be an up-front and very obvious ministry through your church that everybody knows about, or it might be something a little more subtle, a little more understated, but just – if not more – powerful and influential.

Well, I’m thinking of the youngest little boy in the Nicklas family. His name is Isaiah and he has sparkling eyes and a shock of red hair. Isaiah is barely a toddler. Not only that, he has Down syndrome. Now I know you’re wondering. How can this child have an actual ministry? Well, I will let his older sister, Mary McKenna share exactly what her little brother’s ministry is all about. You see, Mary McKenna and Isaiah are covenant children. Their parents covered them in prayer long before they were ever born. These kids are a part of “the household of faith” in the Nicklas family, and from the very beginning, their parents have encouraged them to explore the ministry that God has blessed them with.

Mary McKenna was the one who told me (she was feeding little Isaiah at the table at Family Retreat – she was spooning food his way) and she said, “You know Joni, all of us in our family have a ministry; I mean just look at Isaiah!” At that point, Isaiah (hearing his name) turned and gave me the biggest, brightest, happiest grin, and at the same time his eyes just lit up and sparkled and his cheeks got like two little red apples. I don’t know how to describe this, but the smile of that little child was, well, it glowed. It just gave me so much joy to see him. Mary McKenna could tell, she could see it in the expression of wonder on my face, and so she explained, “See what I mean, Joni? Isaiah has his own ministry, too, and it’s his smile!” And you know what? She was so right. I have never thought of it before, but she was spot on. That little boy’s face glowed with heaven-sent happiness when he smiled. Everyone who meets Isaiah always comes away blessed.

Actually, that cute little boy with Down syndrome – his ministry can be best described in 2 Corinthians Chapter 4, verse 6 which says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Friend, look how many times the word ‘light’ is used in that verse. Does your face light up when you talk about Jesus? Even a little child can have the light of Christ and it can show up in a glorious way through a smile.

So again, what is your ministry? It doesn’t have to be something big and well-known. It could be something as small and seemingly insignificant as your smile, but underline that word “seemingly” because there’s no doubt about the significance, the power, the importance, the impact and influence a smile that shines forth out of weakness, limitations and disabilities. Remember that today if you’re tempted to frown your way through the morning, or grumble your way through the afternoon or shuffle slump-shouldered into your evening. Followers of Jesus can do better than that. After all, people all around are watching, especially if they know you’re a Christian. And the next time you see them looking your way, make it a ministry moment and flash them a smile sent straight from heaven. Oh, and if you’d like to see a photo of little Isaiah, I’m posting it today on my radio page at Because when you see it, it’ll be a ministry moment for you!

Thanks for listening today on Joni and Friends.

© Joni and Friends

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