A Cheerful Heart

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“All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:15)

Recently I read that even though we cannot always choose what happens to us, we can choose what our attitude will be toward each situation.

How true that is.

Our Sheltie, Bleu (who is no longer with us), was a good example of this. For some unknown reason, he would bark unremittingly whenever we started up our truck or trike, or for that matter, anything with a motor. When I would run the blender or food processor, he would get very anxious. In any of these situations, he looked around for comfort and reassurance. Sometimes he pulled one of his stuffed toys around the house until the noise stopped. Other times, he would run frantically from one side of the yard to the other while barking.

Every so often, he would come to me and I was able to reassure him with a calm voice and a loving touch that everything was all right and nothing would happen to him. In fact, this seemed to cheer him up enough that he would go find one of his toys to play with or contentedly chomp on a piece of rawhide for a while, even in the midst of the ongoing noise.

I find myself acting the same way at times. On a day when I’m overwhelmed with pain and fatigue, it is easy for me to fall prey to my feelings and just like Bleu did, I start to panic. Instead of looking to the Lord for the reassurance and comfort I know from past experience is waiting for me, I get upset and wonder if I will ever feel “normal” again.

That’s when I take my eyes off God and focus on myself and my circumstances instead. Oh, but God is so good! It doesn’t take long until His warmth and faithful promises penetrate this self-involved brain and I am reminded that I can rely on Him for strength and support instead of wallowing in my own anxious way.

It is then that I am finally able to change to an attitude of cheerful hope, knowing in my heart that my LORD has been lovingly caring for me all the time.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” —Martha Washington

[Originally published at G.E.M. Ministries, 02/14/12]

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