Devotional: March 26, 2020
“Gracious speech is like clover honey - good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.”
Proverbs 16: 24
“A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”
Proverbs 17: 22
The Book of Proverbs is an odd little book, filled with quotable sayings. Yet it seems to bounce from topic to topic, almost as if it was written by someone with ADD. Nonetheless, many people have found timeless gems of wisdom within it. Whenever I read them, I am amazed at the number of phrases within the Book of Proverbs which have become part of the way we speak, and think, and look at the world. Many people repeat some of the Proverbs, never realizing they are quoting the bible.
Health is on everyone’s mind these days. We have been asked to observe the “Stay home, stay healthy” order from our Governor, for our health.
Proverbs is helpful in affirming the connection between healthy attitudes, and healthy bodies. We have learned that having a positive attitude is so essential to our health. It is greatly preferable to allowing feelings of despair slip into our mindset, and take over our thoughts and actions. This correlation is well-known. Norman Cousins wrote about this connection in his classic autobiographical book, “Anatomy of an Illness”. In the movie version of this book, Norman’s character paraphrases one of these proverbs, stating to his physician, “Even the Bible says that ‘A Merry Heart is a Good Doctor’”.
Now please don’t misunderstand. We are going to have times of great frustration, despair, anxiety and many other emotions. It is how we choose to respond to those real feelings which determines our overall attitude. It is easy to say to someone else, “Be cheerful!”, when you yourself do not have any reason to feel anything but cheerfulness. Yet especially when our lives feel upside-down, we need to turn to the Lord. When we ask God to step in and help us with our attitude, He promises to be there with us. He takes our hand and walks with us. If anything should make us feel “merry” or “cheerful”, it is knowing that we do not have to go through difficulties alone.
We did not choose this battle with the coronavirus, but we can choose our attitude when it comes to fighting the disease. May we work towards choosing to be positive, so that we can give our soul that quick energy of which Proverbs speaks. This is not to minimize the very real threat posed by this pandemic, and the very real emotions that are upon us. We need to realize that our attitudes help to determine our health. Therefore, let us choose to find emotions that are cheerful, gracious and positive. Who knows? Perhaps our positive attitudes will be infectious- in a good way!
Prayer for the Day
God of all healing,
Many of us may feel like our freedoms are diminished, with restrictions being imposed in the wake of this pandemic. Yet we know we are always free to choose how we will respond, for we are always in charge of our own attitude. Please help us to find the ability to be positive, and gracious, and cheerful. May health reign in our bodies, our communities, our nation, and our world. We pray this prayer in the name of the Great Physician, Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.