Tonya is taking a break to get Stephen and herself some rest . . . please continue to remember them in your prayers. You're stuck with me, Snoodles, for the remainder of the week -- I hope you're not disappointed!
Pro 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Pro 15:14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
Pro 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
There are an awful lot of new medicines advertised these days. Seems like every time you listen to the radio or turn on the television, you hear about a new drug that is absolutely the best for whatever ails you. Of course, nowadays they are required to tell you all the details, such as it may make your hair fall out, turn your skin a curious shade of heliotrope, cause you to drive your car in your sleep, or cause you to explode. (Grin)
But one of the oldest prescriptions is found in the Scriptures . . . and in fact, a couple of chapters further on, it is specifically referred to as a medicine --- I'm talking about a merry heart.
Solomon notes here that a merry heart can make our countenance cheerful - well, yes! If we are contented and "making melody in our heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19) then our face will be cheerful. What kind of a witness are we, if we have a long, sad face? Solomon cautions us that by "sorrow of the heart" our spirit can be broken . . . in Hebrew, that word means stricken, wounded. I believe he's referring to when we let our sorrow have control; we let it have free reign in our hearts. I believe my Grandma would have said "when we wallow in it." If we want to attract others to the grace that we have found, we will (Grandma just stuck her head back in the door) attract more "with honey than with vinegar."
What is the key to having a merry heart? Well, I think I know one of them, anyway. The last word of verse 15 is a root that can mean banquet (a feast, right?) or drink . . . I think if we are drinking what Jesus called living water . . .
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
And if we accept the gift of that everlasting life, we will indeed find ourselves doing what we saw in Ephesians 5:19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
And I betcha --- if you glance in the mirror, you'll see a cheerful countenance!