Enjoying the Journey
I was walking across the parking lot. I did not see anyone watching me and was deeply engrossed in some meaningless thought. Then I heard him say, “Why are you grimacing?”
Grimacing? Me? Was I grimacing? Perhaps, or perhaps my friend could not see my expression well. Either way we had a good laugh and went our separate directions. But the question stayed with me.
Your countenance matters. Others are reading our expressions and drawing conclusions. The conclusions they draw may not reflect poorly on us alone; they may reflect poorly on the God of all joy that resides within us.
Yes, your countenance matters. Ask Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. It separated them from everyone else (Daniel 1:13-15). Ask David. He glorified God for the “help” of His countenance (Psalm 42:5), and rejoiced that God was the “health” of his own countenance (Psalm 42:11, 43:5). Ask Isaiah. He said that even the countenance of the wicked speaks about their heart. “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them” (Isaiah 3:9).
There is a time for weeping. Every moment is not a happy one and I am not suggesting that we live with plastic faces for mere show. But this simple reminder was good for me: My countenance tells others so much about my Christ. Is He enough? Does He satisfy? Can the peace of God rule my heart? Yes. Yes. And Yes. But in the words of some wise person I met as a child, “Notify your face!”
Our son is eight years old. He is full of life and laughter. Not long ago we were riding along in the car as a family. (We have some of the deepest theological discussions there.) Grant said, “God doesn’t laugh.” Don’t ask me where it came from! As we talked, he said to me that he never thought of God as laughing.
In fact, the Bible actually says that God laughs. He laughs at the folly of the heathen (Psalm 2:4, 37:13, 59:8; Proverbs 1:26). Zephaniah 3:17 declares that God rejoices over us with joy! Psalm 126:2 teaches that by His goodness He fills our mouths with laughter. Remember that it is God who created us…in His own image. He created us with a sense of humor because He has a perfect sense of humor. I am convinced that the very countenance of the Lord Jesus exuded true joy. Little children loved to approach Him and be with Him.
We are told that the human face is capable of more than 10,000 different expressions. Arguably, the most beautiful expression of all is a sincere smile. But the real issue is not a face issue – it is a heart issue.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). That medicine is not just for you! Others need it.
“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance” (Proverbs 15:13). Your face tells on your heart. Countenance is not everything, but when the heart is right it will affect the countenance.
Your countenance matters. Be a happy Christian. Enjoy the Lord. And let your face know so that others will know too.