Medicine for the Soul

By BRO. TERRY IVY,

"A merry heart does good like a medicine..." (Pro. 17:22) We've all met them. People who think 'holiness' is measured by a sour puss or angry face. They look like someone has slapped them in the face with a dead rabbit, and fur is flying everywhere. Christians should be able to laugh and laugh out loud. Our sins are forgiven, and we free from condemnation, judgment, shame, and the penalty of death. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

What we don't laugh at is sin, hatred, mockery, or disaster. We are serious about the Cross, salvation, redemption, repentance, faith, and the resurrection—that doesn't change. However, show me a person who walks with Christ and is yielding to the Holy Spirit, and I'll show you a person who has robust laughter and a merry heart!

Now granted, I for one can get carried away. I see things from many perspectives and can quickly cross a line over into foolishness. (I'm always having to guard against this.) But, laughter is one of the joyful experiences I have in my walk with Christ. Yes, I laugh. And with three boys, a crazy wife, and four grandchildren, I laugh a lot. And today, I thank God that my heart and spirit are free enough to enjoy laughter through God's marvelous grace and mercy. Even a bird sings joyfully when he is let out of a cage! This is why Christians sing...and sing loud!!! We have been set free by the power of the gospel, and neither death, life, things present, or things to come can separate us from God's love!

There is an old hymn that says, “I sing because I'm happy. I sing because I'm free. His eye is on the Sparrow. And I know He watches me.”

A close friend of mine likes to say, “Life will knock the starch out of you.” We can all attest to that. However, as it does, we must embrace another truth. For the believer, this life is as bad as it gets. The best is yet to come! To the unbeliever, this life is as good as it gets, and the worst is yet to come.

For many of us, there is not as much sand left in the hourglass of our life. Like the final music during the dramatic rise of a movie, we sense the end drawing near. Reflections of our life carry good times, regretful times, and painful times. How can it go by so fast? We must be careful to guard our hearts.

I was reflecting on some painful experiences the other day while driving. Suddenly a squirrel came out to the yellow line and stood still. As I drove closer and watched, he stood his ground, never wavering or moving. I looked back in the mirror and he was still holding his post. All I could do was laugh out loud. Then I prayed, “Lord, make me as firm as that little squirrel!” With a laugh and a smile, I had… Medicine for my Soul.