Proverbs 17:22 – A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one's strength. (ISV)
I could hear the giggles of my friends, my confidantes, my extended family from across the parking lot as I approached our favourite outdoor café. They were discussing a newly published article about how spending time with good friends decreases depression, boosts one's immune system, and de-stresses, according to The Office of Women's Health US. We are all agreed that these get-togethers leave us in high spirits, and have done so ever since childhood when our first tea parties began. Today, as busy mothers and grandmothers, we have established that girl-time as a top priority!
One friend, I'll call her Sharon, believes, as many millennials do, that Christianity is outdated and not applicable to today's world.
Judy, a Bible study leader, asked in a non-threatening way if any of us knew when "A joyful heart is good medicine" was written. While we were all familiar with the verse, no one knew a date. To everyone's surprise, she replied, "In 900 BC." God inspired King Solomon to write this prescription in the Book of Wisdom (Proverbs), and science confirmed it 2,916 years later. Researchers proved that laughter releases endorphins that produce a sense of well being. Conclusion: "Father God does know best."
Sharon was fascinated, so it seemed the perfect time to continue. Judy went on, saying that the verse ends with this warning: "But a broken spirit drains one's strength." Science confirmed this truth at the Australian Spinal Research Foundation in 2016. Their studies proved that elevated cortisol is the dominant player in chronic stress. It is the leading cause of osteoporosis, digestive problems, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on. Suddenly, the Bible seemed a lot more relevant and not at all outdated! After all, who knows our bodies and their needs better than their Creator and Father, God!
Sharon confessed that she had never really spent much time reading Scripture. She was shocked when someone added that the theme for the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, published in 1939, was based on biblical wisdom. "One day at a time" confirmed another of God's prescriptions written in 62 AD. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV) Living proof that, yes, "Our Father God knows best!"
As our lunch came to an end, we all agreed that "A joyful heart is good medicine," and definitely not a hard pill to swallow.
Prayer: Loving God, please grant us health and peace of mind. Give us the strength and clarity of mind to fulfill our purpose. May we walk the path that You've laid out for us with a cheerful heart. Thank You for this day. Amen.
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