Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wrinkles vs. Laugh Lines

Kids have a way of keeping us humble. They ask questions we just don’t see coming.

I was at the home of a sick friend, and playing with her daughter, Anna. Anna is a serious-natured first grader and a deep thinker, noticing things most kids miss. This is both good news, and bad news. On this day, it was bad news for me.

We were sitting at the kitchen table, coloring. She looked up at me, and in a serious tone asked, “Miss Chris, why do you have so many wrinkles?”

In obvious denial I answered, “Anna, they’re not wrinkles. They’re laugh lines!”

I showed her how when I was solemn, the lines disappeared—somewhat. And when I smiled, they became even more apparent.

 laugh lines

“So that’s why they are called laugh lines!” I assured her.

She pondered my words for a minute, then conceded, “Well, you DO laugh a lot!”

Anna had a point. I do laugh a lot, and it has made an impression on my face. All attitudes leave their mark. Someone who is a chronic worrier probably does have wrinkles! Worry etches itself into lines on our face just as surely as joy does. By joy I don’t mean the sappy “The sun is out and life is good” kind of situational happiness. I’m talking the “I belong to the Son and so it is well with my soul” kind of settled joy. That is the kind of joy that brings strength and stability to us in the midst of unsettled times.

How do we get it?

One of the surest ways is by praising God.

When we stop to think about Him—His goodness, His grace, His mercy, His strength, and His love for us—praise flows out from there. It takes our mind off whatever would worry us, and reminds us of His ability and faithfulness to deal with it.

King David put it this way, “It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night (Psalm 92:1-2).”

Begin the day by remembering His love when you get up in the morning. After all, each new day is a gift, extended to us in love. Then end the day by recalling His faithfulness to walk through each day with us.

The side benefit? “A happy heart makes the face cheerful…(Proverbs 15:13).”

Praise. It’s good for the soul. It’s also good for laugh lines.

Further reflection:

  1. Do you see God’s love and faithfulness in your life? Where? How?
  2. Find one favorite Bible verse to memorize about God’s love, and another verse to memorize about God’s faithfulness..
  3. Begin and end day with repeating those words. After one month, journal about how those truths have increased your desire to praise God.

Father, You alone are the source of true joy. Happiness ebbs and flows depending on circumstances, but because You are constant the joy I find in You can also be constant. You are worthy of all praise, all honor, and all glory forever and ever.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing and so true! That is what my grandmother used to say too... she used to smile really big and say she "earned" every wrinkle.