I’ve always liked the book of Proverbs, so in choosing a key Bible verse for A Little Happy, naturally I turned there.  Proverbs 17:22 captures my 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 drew a picture of it!  But it’s the second part that rings true with many of us living 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.  In our bones.

Taking this word picture a step further, the marrow–in the center of the bone–is a 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 God is saying is 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 believers 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 the Rescuer Himself to breathe life 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? Possibly not.  But that’s not because you aren’t being rescued. You are just being rescued in a way unlike that of this world.

So how in the WORLD is He rescuing us?!  Who wants a rescuer that won’t (notice I didn’t say can’t)  just take away my pain and let me be happy all the time?  I’m so glad you asked!

 He 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 this world, and is allowing me to experience exactly what I need to bring Him glory and make me more like Him.  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 Christ has become my ONLY 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 more like Him. 

Peace to all of you 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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