Scripture for Today: Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
My meal choice at a restaurant in France was so unusual that I felt compelled to take a photo of it! I understood the description but had never seen anyone eat it before. In Europe, bone marrow is normally served on toasted bread and sprinkled with sea salt. Here the presentation does not let one forget its source! In older American recipes it was often used for making broth. This spongy tissue is slightly sweet and its texture is smooth. Although it is full of nutrients, I was a bit put off by the taste of its obviously high fat content!
Today’s verse uses the imagery of dried up bones to picture a crushed spirit. Bones that are dried up and feeling empty are a perfect description for depression. In contrast, a heart that is cheerful and joyful is a great medicine for whatever ails us. The phrase, “laughter is the best medicine,” has been around a long time. Research has shown there are many health benefits to laughter, including increased blood flow, better immune response, lowered blood sugar, and relaxation.
My cheerful heart is often in spite of and not because of my circumstances. Joy is many times a choice. Like Habakkuk, when everything is going wrong, I can “joy in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. 3:18) I can still choose a joyful heart even when there is no evident reason for it. That is because there is joy in the thought of His salvation and the future that awaits! And joy is sure to return when I think about His unexplainable love for me!
Thank you Lord, for giving me a cheerful heart.