A Cheerful Spirit
This blog post is from a longtime friend of mine, Heidi Yount. Heidi and I have worked on several writing projects together, including the novel The Lie Drinkers. Heidi and her family live in Idaho. Again, it is always so important to me that we cultivate and develop potential in people. Heidi is a great writer, and always makes me laugh. – Brandon
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
It had been a rough few days. My husband had to prepare for a meeting at work. A BIG meeting. One of those career altering, make or break kind of meetings. The kind of meeting that requires days of prep work where he’s distracted and doesn’t sleep well. I’m on edge, and the whole family tries to relax and trust God, but we can’t help but think about the meeting. Because we all know that kind of work meeting. The one that almost requires a miracle to go well.
The meeting was taking place during the last week of school, where children can taste summertime and run about willy-nilly, and I have no idea how I’m supposed to be in multiple places at once. Because there are award ceremonies and field trips and play dates and water balloon fights. So mom can’t forget to get the nice dress and tights ready on the same day as the bag of squirt guns and beach towels.
And did I mention that the meeting was happening this week?…
The day of the meeting arrived, and the kids and I were feasting frantically on a breakfast of peanut butter toast on the way to school. As I was driving, I asked my son to pray. We always pray on the way to school, but I was distracted and trying to remember if I packed their sunscreen. So I pawned off the morning prayer routine onto my 11 year old, who had sensed the stress of the week in more ways than I understood.
My son wiped the peanut butter crumbs from his lips and bowed his head. “Lord, we have a busy day, and my dad has a big meeting today. I ask that you go before him, and help him remember the words he got ready, and help him to stand strong. But Lord, most of all, help him to remember to be who you made him to be, and remind him to be funny, because good things are funny. Amen.”
And just like that, my son offered a breath of fresh air into the stifled car. The knots in my shoulders relaxed, and I remembered one of my favorite verses in Proverbs. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” My son’s cheerful heart was the good medicine my soul needed, the tender touch to my worried mind.
I find God fascinating, the way He moves, the way He works when we choose to pay attention. He works in the midst of our determined, peanut butter crusted plans. He works in our worry and shows up to roll away the stone, giving life to these dying bones.
Lord, help me remember who you made me to be. Help me to be cheerful because you made laughter, and it is good.
Oh, and my husband remembered his words, and he remembered to be funny, and the meeting was fine. =)