By Terri Gillespie
TODAY’S PROVERB: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22, TLV
A cheerful heart . . . What cheers us? Good news? A baby’s smile? A parking space close to the entrance? A beautiful sunrise? Getting what we want?
These moments can be like doses of a spiritual elixir that make us feel good. Feel content. A boost of needed energy to keep us moving. At least for a few moments.
As unpublished writers, and even published authors struggling to secure that next contract, our spirits can easily be crushed. Over an extended period, the discouragement can dry up our hopes until we question whether God really led us to write.
For many years, I thought the only way I could have a cheerful heart was to get a contract. That contract was my affirmation to continue the journey.
But our cheerful heart doesn’t come from fulfilled expectations, it comes from awe and wonder and gratitude.
That cheerful heart understands the constancy of God’s sovereignty and love. By understanding this, we can see the wonder in the simple, and protect ourselves from the shriveled hopes.
These healthy doses are around us all the time, every day. Even in the most challenging of times, there are moments of beauty and joy to remind us of our Heavenly Father’s love — we just need to pay attention.
I remember a scene from the movie, The Hiding Place when Betsie and Corrie ten Boom were in the concentration camp, Ravensbrueck. They had just been deloused. Betsie thanked the person who had administered it. She walked further into the muddy terrain and marveled at the beautiful day.
Where her sister, Corrie—and I would probably do as well—saw despair and hopelessness, Betsie saw the moment and therefore could see the lovely day.
Even when we struggle to see the good around us, just know that we carry our Father’s medicine within us.
Throughout Scripture we are reminded to meditate upon all the LORD has done for us. In fact, He is known by Names commemorating this: Healer, Shepherd, Banner, Shield, Father, Almighty One, Savior. All doses of Good Medicine for whatever ails us.
So, next time we get a rejection letter or discouraging word about our writing, take a healthy dose of good medicine. Take a walk in the sunshine—enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Even looking out the window can help. Do a good deed for someone. Listen to praise and worship music and remember seven of His blessings.
Then prayerfully consider what can be learned from the experience. Did we receive a helpful critique? Is God pointing us in another direction with our writing?
It’s so much easier to discern the lessons from a trial when we have a cheerful heart—when we’re confident in God’s sovereignty and love.
This doesn’t happen overnight—at least it doesn’t with me. But over the years, I’ve learned the hard way that having a cheerful heart based on gratitude and not fulfilled expectations, is where I need to be before making any decisions about my writing.Have you taken your medicine? @TerriGMavens #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet A cheerful heart comes from awe and wonder and gratitude. @TerriGMavens #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Terri Gillespie is VP of the NWGA ACFW chapter and takes her medicine. Her first traditionally published book was Making Eye Contact with God—A Weekly Women’s Devotional. She has won various fiction awards and has a new release, Sweet Rivalry due November 2021. Member: ACFW, CAN, AWSA