A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
There is a healing effect when we are joyful, cheerful people. A joyful heart is good medicine. The word used for ‘joyful’ here is the Hebrew word ‘sameah’ which means ‘to be glad, happy, or joyful’. The idea is that someone is choosing to rejoice – to consider the good that God has done rather than the misery and the opportunity to be sad and depressed.
We all know that life brings losses, traumas, deep disappointments, and failures? These griefs can cause us to be ‘broken-hearted’. This kind of ‘broken-hearted’ or a ‘broken spirit’ will, according to the Lord, dry up the bones. This is a horrible condition because our bones are not only our main source of strength and stability, but they are also the place where our blood is produced. What is difficult though, is that we cannot go up to someone who is dried up in their affections and tell them to be joyful. That does not help them. They know they are without joy – and can sense the drying up of their vitality. An admonition to stop this is like asking the sun to stop shining simply by requesting it. What they need is a supernatural infusing of a joy producing principle that will not go away with the seasons, or the up and down existence of life.
So how do we walk in joy at these times in our lives? Where can we find healing?
For me, I think that one part of the process is like when David prayed, “restore to me the joy of Your salvation”. David was encouraging his own heart and soul. Looking with hope to our Lord and Friend, trusting that He does indeed, lead us through the valley of the shadow of death (whether physical death of a loved one, an illness or other season of trial with no understanding of what’s going on); and that He will indeed, again lead us beside still waters and into green pastures. Sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. He never leaves us nor forsakes us.