Monday, February 4, 2013

The Power of a Joyful Heart

All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. 
–Proverbs 15:15 (KJV)

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  –Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Three years ago my wife Andrea started down a difficult journey of battling esophageal cancer.  We are blessed and grateful that three years later she remains cancer free.  Anyone who has battled cancer, or any other life-threatening illness, knows of the endless hours spent in waiting rooms, continual tests and follow-up, and the agonizing wait for test results.  I recall during one particularly long wait at a doctor’s office I was struck with an odd thought.  Stress will often cause me to look for something, anything, to laugh about, and this thought nearly made me burst out laughing.  Andrea noticed me trying to stifle a laugh, so she asked me what was so funny.

I explained to her my idea of a special church just for doctors.  Upon arriving at the church they would have to sit in the vestibule for about two hours.  Eventually, someone with their names on a clipboard would open the door and call them into the sanctuary one by one.  Once there they would have to sit and wait another hour.  They would then be lead to a room behind the sanctuary where they would put on a choir robe with nothing on underneath.  Following this they could hear the sermon.  Lastly, instead of an offering we would bill them in thirty days.  This ridiculous thought just cracked me up, and believe me when I say I needed a good laugh right then.  I hope any medical professionals reading this will have a healthy sense of humor and laugh along with me.

The Word of God says a merry, or joyful, heart is like a continual feast.  A merry heart is also like medicine.  I find a good laugh is akin to a B-12 shot, for we instantly feel better.  I enjoy hearing a talented comedian, especially one who doesn’t feel the need to use profanity, yet I also am able to find humor in countless situations.  The joyful heart is able to be at peace because we have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus referred to the Spirit as the Comforter, and what a comfort it is to be able to laugh even in the midst of difficult times.  We are also reminded in Scripture that a broken spirit is like having our bones become dry.  Not a pleasant thought, is it. 

A daily walk with Christ refreshes our minds and our spirits.  We will have sorrows, as this is a part of life.  However, our sorrows do not have to defeat us.  Instead, we have victory through faith in Christ.  Faith empowers us to rise up in the face of adversity and walk forward with a glad and joyful heart.  Do not surrender to sorrow, which in turn leads to bitterness.  Rise up in faith and live the abundant life Christ offers.  Of course you have problems.  We all do.  Find something laugh about anyway.

God bless you today.