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“PHYSIOGNOMY OF MY CHILDREN” – Feb 24

February 24, 2015

“The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night.”  Psalm 121:5-6

I hCLF - Olmstead Parksave been reading Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.  I came upon a line that caused me to pause:

There are no trivial facts in humanity, nor little leaves in vegetation.  It is the physiognomy of the years that the physiognomy of the century is composed.  (Victor Hugo, Les Miserables page 77)

Physiognomy is a wonderful word that I had to look up; it means the general form or appearance; facial expression, especially when regarded as indicative of character or ethnic. There is a great truth in this quote.  The general character of a century is composed of the character of the years.  It is the small things of life that compose the great; there are no small leaves in vegetation. I pray that my children will grow to be individuals of character.  I want them to walk all their days in the Spirit and know deeply the love of God.  I want the physiognomy of their childhood years to compose the physiognomy of their adult life. Childhood forms much of our adult life.  Just like a giant shade tree on a hot summer day, we hope to shade our children from the hurt and regret of a rebellious world.  My wife and I endeavor to spread  a canopy of love over our children.  A canopy composed of thousands of leaves.

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/461564763

The grand teachable moments are the parent’s white whales.  We long for those moments when we can speak of great truths and profound lessons.  These giant leaves do happen, but I believe they are much more rare than we want to admit.  The more abundant and therefore the greatest composition of a parent’s canopy of love are the small leaves. The small leaves demonstrating the reality of the transforming work of the Spirit in a child of God:

How we speak to our spouse; The control of our anger; The kindness we show to strangers; Daily love of scripture; Devotion to prayer; Generosity to the ungenerous; Speaking truth even when it costs; Obedience to speed limits even when late; All those words of encouragement spoken in love.

445Each of these acts flourishes like thousands of small leaves shading the childhood of our children while they are under our care.  There are no little leaves in the life of a Christian.  Every fruit of the Spirit harvested from my life and the life of my wife contributes to the canopy over our lives together in Christ.  That canopy shades our children’s hearts from being hardened by a parching world.  It is a great work of the Spirit. Doubtless, there are grand leaves of teachable moments in our canopy but they certainly are outnumbered by all the little evidences of a man and woman in love with their Savior. I know that the salvation of my children is not within my hands. Yet, I have faith that nothing is too hard for God; even the conversion of my children.  We live and pray expectantly.  The Lord our keeper shades the life of my wife and I.  We have faith that His shade upon our lives will create the perfect environment for Him to draw our children to Himself. There are no little acts in the life of a Christian.  There are always little eyes watching.

It is the trivial acts of daily life that composes the physiognomy of my life.

It is the physiognomy of an individual life that the physiognomy of a family is composed.

It is the physiognomy of a family that the physiognomy of a church is composed.

It is the physiognomy of the church that the physiognomy of a generation is composed.

There are no trivial acts in a Christian’s life, nor little leaves of the Spirit’s fruit.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you from my children.  Father, I pray that you will draw them to yourself.  Open their eyes to the magnificence of who you are.  Give them ears to hear the call of their Shepherd.  Create in them a clean heart that comes only from being a new creation in Christ, your Son and the redeemer of their souls.  Help me be the parent that they need.  Help me to show them what it means to walk in the Spirit.  Let the shade of your grace keep me; may that same grace flow through my life to shade them as they grow in you.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

6 comments

  1. Excellent thoughts Gary!


  2. I really enjoyed this post, very beautifully written. Although I am not a mother yet, I found this very insightful to every type of relationship. People are always watching our actions, and they must be consistent in what we declare to be true. I will be tucking this post away to read when I do get the opportunity to be a mom, thank you!


    • Thank you for you comments Paige. You are so correct; people are always watching. We should be radiating the light within us.
      God Bless
      JD


  3. Insightful truth with amazing depth, perfectly spoken ~ Amen :Y


  4. Amen!


  5. Had similar idea on my mind. “He who is faithful in the little things will be faithful in much.”



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