Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Cheerful Heart

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

We’re only two games into the new baseball season. Both the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles are 2-0 and leading their divisions (I know – small sample size). I watched the Orioles – both games. I must say they were both thrillers.

The opening day game went into extra innings. There was great pitching by starter Kevin Gausman and the bullpen did its normal great job. There was some highlight defense as well (an amazing play by Manny Machado – just the best 3rd baseman in the Major Leagues). There was just enough offense to go to extras. The Orioles won in the 11th inning on a 1-2 count with two outs when Mark Trumbo hit a homer to left. I gave out a shout of joy. I believe it was the Orioles first opening day walk off win. The Orioles have won seven straight opening day games.

The second game came two nights later. Dylan Bundy pitched one of his best games to-date and held a powerful Blue Jays lineup in check. Gausman and Bundy are two of our top young players and they are now 1-2 in our rotation with Chris Tillman on the DL. The O’s were up 3-1 – (thanks to homers by Adam Jones and Chris Davis) entering the 9th inning and our All-Star – All-World closer – Zach Britton came on to pitch. Usually that means lights out – let’s put the cat out and go home with a win. After a perfect 47 for 47 season on saves in 2016 – Zach had a tough outing. He eventually loaded the bases with only one out and some good hitters facing him. It was tense for sure. He eventually induced the hitter at the plate to hit a grounder to Machado who started a game ending double play. I must admit I gave out a shout of joy for sure.

When we are happy – when the circumstances line up to bring us a cheerful heart – it feels good. As a long time Orioles fan – I lived through the 14 losing seasons and know that a broken spirit can sap your strength as well.

Today’s passage – speaking spiritually – says the same thing. Proverbs 17:22 – A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. One of my favorite sayings is this – happiness is circumstantially driven while joy is spiritually derived. It is OK to have the circumstances line up to give us some happiness – a cheerful heart. We certainly know that when the circumstances line up against us – it does tend to sap our strength.

I’d like to close this devotional thought by saying – we live through circumstances that bring cheer and sorrow. Our earthly life has its ups and downs. Some of us even seem to do through long-term sorrow with the choices we have made or the choices others have made around us. But – whether the circumstances bring us a cheerful heart or sap our strength – we can have joy everlasting as we walk through – even the valley of the shadow of death – if we walk with Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus and seek His face and desire His grace – and there will be a joy that can even overcome the bad circumstances of life that sap our strength. We can find strength in Christ that is greater than the circumstances.

Having said that – I still hope the Orioles and the Nationals meet in the World Series this year!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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April 6, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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