Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (NIV)
My mother’s multiple sclerosis flared-up. Her mobility decreased, and the painful spasms increased. She swallowed her cocktail of medication but realized she wouldn’t feel well enough to attend the family reunion.
Although not usually prone to depression, she felt a cloud of gloom begin to descend. She grumbled to herself about her painful predicament. Soon the grumbling turned to outright complaints to God. Why do I have to endure this? I just want to go to my family reunion! Why God, why me?
The day dragged on. Eventually my mother saw the mail carrier deliver the mail. She groped for her walker, determined at least to go outside to get the mail. With awkward steps, she headed down the driveway with a furrowed brow and a scowl directed toward heaven.
Now that morning just in case she felt a burst of painless energy, my mother had dressed herself for the anticipated reunion. Earrings dangled jauntily in protest against the multiple sclerosis. A pullover-striped tee shirt matched her hot pink-cropped pants. Her leather athletic shoes supported her twisted ankles but matched the ensemble with a pink pinstripe.
However, as a woman with a physical handicap, all of my mother’s clothing needed to be easy to don and effortless to remove. So as she groused her way down the driveway, she suddenly felt her elastic-waist capris beginning to slip. In cahoots with gravity, they inched their way down her hips. Suddenly, in a free fall, down they went—past her knees. They slithered to her ankles, puddling in a heap around her snazzy pinstriped athletic shoes.
She stood clutching her walker—halfway down the driveway. She couldn’t let go of the walker without the risk of falling. Fortunately, her white panties stayed in place! Unexpectedly, the complete absurdity of the situation struck my mom. Her sharp sense of humor rose above the horror. She began to chuckle, then laughter buckled her over the metal support of her walker.
She considered her predicament as a blessing from God. She felt His Spirit whisper, “Have a merry heart, and stop your complaining.” No longer sour-faced, her joy overflowed. She shuffled the rest of the way down the driveway to retrieve her mail. Her pink capris hugged her ankles the entire trip.
She continued to giggle as she returned to the safety of her living room. This was just too funny not to share with someone. Mom phoned us at the annual family get-together to share her merry heart and the goodness of God.
Of course, we laughed and felt relief for Mom. After all, a cheerful heart is good medicine!
Dear Lord, remind me that a good laugh at my own expense can be healthy. Teach me not to take the ridiculous circumstances of life so seriously. Help me to find things to chuckle about today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today determine to see the humor in various situations. Share what you discover with others. Be cheerful!
What causes me to lose my joy?
Can I see the humor in ridiculous situations?
Why is a cheerful heart good medicine?
Luke 6:21b, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (NIV)
Job , “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 3:4, “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 08 March 2007.