I’ve always loved the book of Proverbs. Maybe it’s the snippets of easy-to-recall wisdom, or the powerful gut-check truths it holds. Regardless, I found that Proverbs 17:22 captures my intention and life-purpose of encouraging others in the ups and downs of life. It reads,

“A cheerful heart is like good medicine,

but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  

Have you ever noticed how many people quote the first half and leave out the rest?  I’m guilty, heck I even doodled a picture of it! But it’s the second part that deserves the most emphasis for everyone surviving in this broken and harsh world…  cheerful heart

A crushed spirit dries up the bones.  This is a word-picture of suffering, as it doesn’t just hover over us– like a cartoonish black cloud–it settles deep into our core.  Into our bones.

Taking this word picture a step further, the marrow–in the center of the bone–is our source of life.  Countless cells and life-processes stem from this fearfully and wonderfully made anatomical location.  If it is dried up, life simply can’t exist.

Although the cheering heart is cute, (if I do say so myself) this is actually a very serious verse to meditate on.  What it is saying is that a happy heart is good medicine, but it’s not the cure.  The cure can only come from life being breathed back into the bones.  

There’s nothing fun about suffering, be it emotional, spiritual, or physical.  But there are wondrous truths for us to cling to when we are in that state.  God’s loving mercy is shown in Psalms 34:18,

“The Lord is near to those whose hearts are humble.
He RESCUES those who are crushed in spirit!”  

Rescues!  I love that word.  When your bones are dried up (disintegrated) and your spirit is crushed (pulverized), “happy and cheerful” isn’t gonna do the trick.  We need to be rescued and healed; to have life breathed back into what’s dead.

Does this mean your suffering will magically disappear?  Will ailments flee and depression cease just by believing this magic potion of a verse? Probably not.  But that’s not because you aren’t being rescued. You are just being rescued in a way beyond that of our human understanding. It is a divine rescue.

So how in the WORLD is God rescuing us?!  Who wants a rescuer that won’t just take away my pain and let me be happy all the time? Who would read a book containing information and “promises” that doesn’t lead to instant relief?  I’m so glad you asked!

 I believe God is rescuing us from a life without hope.  

When my body fails me and my emotions lie to me, I have a sure and solid HOPE that God stands in charge of my life, and is allowing me to experience exactly what I need to fulfill my life-purpose.  When my physical being is worn, and my mental being is wrought, I have the HOPE of an eternity that God says will be under His rule and order.  No.  More.  Suffering.

Let me tell you friend, I know suffering, and so do you.  I understand your weariness well, and I’d much rather not have to deal with it.  But I can attest to this: through my suffering over the years, my faith in a divine plan has become my biggest source of true hope of rescue.

I love my husband, he’s supportive and catches me when I fall.  My children bring me joy with their giggles and liveliness. Medications help me cope with different ailments I endure. But nothing RESCUES me from this harsh world like the knowledge that God is giving me exactly what I need to be transformed into the fullest potential of myself, even when that requires suffering. I hope you find some hope in that good news.

Peace to all who suffer.


But we glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

perseverance, character; and character, hope.

And hope will not disappoint us.

Romans 5: 3-5




Filed under General

9 responses to “Bone-Tired

  1. Love this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Love this! I am BONE TIRED as well! and a crazy thing is, I saw the heart and didn’t even realize it was cheering! hahahahaaaa I’m is so crazy 😉

  3. Clare

    Just so thought provoking! Keep on writing.

  4. Peggy peets

    Macie, Just have been looking at your blog and catching up on the daily readings. I have really enjoyed the ones I have read so far. So glad you have found your calling.

    Ms. Peggy

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