In his book “There’s a Lot More to Health than not being Sick,” Bruce Larsen tells about a friend who he says is one of the happiest people he knows. Larsen describes him as a very senior citizen, now almost blind and living on a modest income, but who is fun to be around because he’s excited about life.
King Solomon gave the following prescription for good health that fits with Larsen’s happy friend’s way of life: “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)
In other words, attitude affects altitude.
Reading Solomon’s prescription for good health brings back memories of my mother quoting it often and living by it daily. She refused to worry and found laughter her tonic for getting through tough times.
Did her positive attitude make a difference?
She’s remembered by her family and others for her refusal to complain and to always find something for which to be thankful. Solomon’s prescription enabled her to live into her mid-nineties.
But how can one live fearing severe trials and have a merry heart?
In “Letters to an American Lady,” C.S. Lewis comforted a troubled woman by telling her not all the things she feared could happen to her and the one (if any) that did would probably be very different from what she expected, adding: “The great thing, as you have obviously seen, (both as regards pain and financial worries) is to live from day to day and hour to hour not adding the past or future to the present.”
Regardless of what the future holds, a dose of Solomon’s prescription will be sufficient for the present.
Are you having a good day, I asked a receptionist.
“So far,” she answered.
“That’s all any of us have,” I replied.
What was I attempting to do?
I was trying to help this woman be thrilled with her blessings of the moment.
In his published sermon “The Sin of Borrowing Trouble,” the eloquent 19th century minister T. DeWitt Talmadge said, “The majority of the troubles of life are imaginary and most of those anticipated never come.”
Most things that make us fear and fret are those that haven’t happened yet.
So we can take Solomon’s ancient prescription for troubled hearts one teaspoon at a time, being thankful for every good moment, shutting out the fears of tomorrow and taking in the blessings of today.
Wise Solomon concluded his prescription with a warning about falling into doubt and negativism, adding, “A broken spirit dries the bones.”
Thankfully, broken ones can come in faith to the One who receives the weary. “Come unto me,” He said, “and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Roger Campbell was an author, broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.