A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
Stress has never seemed to be in short supply in my career. My legal practice brought the challenges of balancing the needs of clients with those of their counterparts as we negotiated transactions, often in the billions of dollars. It turns out, with that much money on the table, people are willing to fight for what they want.
My work as a pastor brought a different set of stressors. The dollars in play were minimal but the currency of the souls of men and women meant the stakes were actually even higher. There was at least as much hand wringing as in my lawyer days and probably more sleepless nights.
I suspect you’ve already had enough opportunity to identify with my fate that I can skip the details on the stresses of being a college professor. You have your stressors and they are probably just as intense as mine, even if they come from different sources.
But I have a remedy you may not share. I have a person who lives at my house who smiles at me every day when I drag myself in the door. Understand, her day may have been just as tough as mine but she offers me the gift of her cheerful heart all the same. Its not just me, either. She offers that same gift to her co-workers, family members, and other people she may encounter throughout the day.
Her cheerful heart raises my spirits. It realigns my worldview to that of God’s Lordship and invites me into a deeper reality. I may be a cog in a vast machine but I am also a beloved son of God, blessed with His presence and His ability to transcend all my circumstances. It is good medicine indeed.
I can offer that same gift back to her. That sounds like the least I could do, doesn’t it? But I can also offer it to everyone I work with, work for, and even work against when that occasion arises. I can provide that good medicine to all the overworked, underpaid, or just downtrodden individuals I encounter. For the crushed spirits you encounter this week, pour out your cheerful heart and become a source of healing for them all.