A merry heart

Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” 

When I was a boy, I often went visiting with my mom and dad to see people in the church my dad served. It was usually those in the hospital or nursing home. Sometimes it was new people who had just moved into the community. My mom usually brought them some home-baked goodies, and we’d sit and chat for a while. There was this one particular lady who I loved to visit. She didn’t have a lot of money. My understanding was she’d had a pretty tough life. Her husband had left her with 5 children to raise on her own. She’d lost 3 of her children to tragic deaths. The bank had foreclosed on her home, and she now lived in government housing. Whenever we came to visit, she always had a pot of beans on the stove and her beans were some of the best I’d ever had. Ms. Lily planted vegetables in flower beds outside her back door. She’d say to me, “Boy, (she couldn’t remember my name) go fetch your mama a few tomatoes outside my door!”

Ms. Lily was without a doubt one of the happiest people I’d ever met. Her fingers were crooked from arthritis but she knitted and played the piano. I loved singing hymns with Ms. Lily. She knew I had a quick mind for memorization and so she’d challenge me to see which one of us knew the most verses of a hymn. Despite all the tragedy in her life, Ms. Lily’s heart was good because she kept it joyful. The day she died, I learned of all the wonderful things she had done for people in our community. Story after story of how she loved and helped people.

One lady said at her funeral that Ms. Lily always told her, “God is the only medicine any of us need.”

Today, approach life with a cheerful heart and a positive attitude. Tell God, “I’m going to praise You! I’m not going to fear what is ahead of me because I know You are already in it. My heart and mind will have an attitude of love and praise and acceptance. My bones are never going to dry up!”

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