“A cheerful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22

I’ve been thinking about this verse for the last 24 hours or so. I met a friend for lunch yesterday who, when asked how she was doing, responded with, “surviving.” We then proceeded to laugh our way through lunch. We shared with one another a little, but for the most part just spent time having fun, telling funny stories, and laughing. I have had a week that could be described as less than ideal. This one-hour lunch of laughter didn’t change the circumstances or even what I had to go back to, but it did change my attitude. And following lunch, the laughter just kept coming and it colored the rest of my day (in a good way).

Medicine is something that we take to either cure (i.e. antibiotics which kill the bacteria causing an infection) or control (i.e. diabetes medicine to control blood sugar levels). So which kind of medicine is a cheerful heart? I think it’s both. Sometimes, just having an opportunity to choose to be cheerful helps us control things like negative attitudes or unpleasant circumstances. Yet if we can figure out how to really live in the joy that comes in having Christ as our Savior, we will also find that His joy cures us – redeems us! What a promise!

I’m not sure I’m always cheerful. In fact I can pretty assuredly say I’m not. But I can say that the joy of the Lord is my strength and I’m going to work on it.