“A cheerful heart is good medicine…”Proverbs 17:22
She needed cheering up. My neighbor was in the midst of debilitating cancer treatment. All she asked was that I come see her for just a few minutes. I had a million things to do, but I couldn’t ignore her plea.
I sat down and let her take the lead in the conversation, telling me how frustrated she was, how often she felt that she might not make it through. Her faith in the Lord was strong, but we all need some encouragement and reminders of God’s love now and then.
I write poetry, when the Lord gives it to me, so I took along a poem I had written in the midst of some medical problems and shared it with her. My bed wasn’t made, my housework wasn’t done, but I sat with her for an hour, sharing God’s word and just chatting.
My tasks were still waiting for me when I walked into my house. I was behind and might not get everything done, but I had a feeling of fulfillment. My friend’s husband walked me to the door and told me I had cheered her up and made her day. He was running out of things to say.
Sometimes we make excuses to avoid situations that are painful for us. None of us actually enjoy entering a sick room. I took the time out of my busy schedule, and I was the one who was blessed. Her husband’s words were an encouragement to me that I had made the correct decision about how to spend that hour of my day.
The writer of Proverbs tells us “a cheerful heart is good medicine.” I didn’t know what to say when I went to see her. By following her lead and letting the Holy Spirit guide my words I was enabled to lift her spirits. That is an honor we seldom get.
How many opportunities have I missed to be God’s messenger of hope and encouragement, simply because I didn’t know what to say, or had too much on my schedule?
Who do you know that needs their spirits lifted? Who needs a kind word of encouragement, or perhaps simply a listening ear?
Taking the time to serve someone else costs me so little, yet blesses us both so much.
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