DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #39.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.
Jerry is recovering from day surgery when a nurse asks him how he is feeling.
"I'm OK but I didn't like the four-letter-word the doctor used in surgery," he answered.
"What did he say," asked the nurse.
I was living in the mountains above Denver when my college buddy, Gary, arrived in his ancient Maserati sports car. He had just driven it from Ohio, and as he pulled into my driveway, the car broke down.
Calls to auto-supply houses and garages in search of replacement parts proved futile. The 1962 model was simply too rare. Responses ranged from "Mas-a-what?" to "You've got to be kidding." One guy just laughed.
I was at the end of the listings in the Yellow Pages when I dialed Victor's Garage. "Vic," I said, "you're my last hope. Do you carry any parts for a 1962 Maserati?"
There was a long pause. Finally, Victor cleared his throat. "Yes," he replied. "Oil."
The first Sunday after my husband and I bought a new car, we parked it in the last row of the church lot, not wanting to be ostentatious.
While talking with friends after the service, my husband accidentally hit the panic button on his electronic key. Immediately our car's horn blared and its lights flashed.
Watching my husband fumble with the button, his friend teased, "Wouldn't it have been in better taste to just put a few lines in the church bulletin?"
In Ernest Gordon's true account of life in a World War II Japanese prison camp, Through the Valley of the Kwai, there is a story that never fails to move me. It is about a man who through giving it all away literally transformed a whole camp of soldiers. The man's name was Angus McGillivray. Angus was a Scottish prisoner in one of the camps filled with Americans, Australians, and Britons who had helped build the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai. The camp had become an ugly situation. A dog-eat-dog mentality had set in. Allies would literally steal from each other and cheat each other; men would sleep on their packs and yet have them stolen from under their heads.
Survival was everything. The law of the jungle prevailed...until the news of Angus McGillivray's death spread throughout the camp. Rumors spread in the wake of his death. No one could believe big Angus had succumbed. He was strong, one of those whom they had expected to be the last to die. Actually, it wasn't the fact of his death that shocked the men, but the reason he died. Finally they pieced together the true story.
The Argylls (Scottish soldiers) took their buddy system very seriously. Their buddy was called their "mucker," and these Argylls believed that is was literally up to each of them to make sure their "mucker" survived. Angus's mucker, though, was dying, and everyone had given up on him, everyone, of course, but Angus. He had made up his mind that his friend would not die. Someone had stolen his mucker's blanket. So Angus gave him his own, telling his mucker that he had "just come across an extra one." Likewise, every mealtime, Angus would get his rations and take them to his friend, stand over him and force him to eat them, again stating that he was able to get "extra food." Angus was going to do anything and everything to see that his buddy got what he needed to recover.
But as Angus's mucker began to recover, Angus collapsed, slumped over, and died. The doctors discovered that he had died of starvation complicated by exhaustion. He had been giving of his own food and shelter. He had given everything he had -- even his very life. The ramifications of his acts of love and unselfishness had a startling impact on the compound.
"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" - John 15:12.
As word circulated of the reason for Angus McGillivray's death, the feel of the camp began to change. Suddenly, men began to focus on their mates, their friends, and humanity of living beyond survival, of giving oneself away. They began to pool their talents -- one was a violin maker, another an orchestra leader, another a cabinet maker, another a professor. Soon the camp had an orchestra full of homemade instruments and a church called the "Church Without Walls" that was so powerful, so compelling, that even the Japanese guards attended.
The men began a university, a hospital, and a library system. The place was transformed; an all but smothered love revived, all because one man named Angus gave all he had for his friend. For many of those men this turnaround meant survival. What happened is an awesome illustration of the potential unleashed when one person actually gives it all away. - Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat.
WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!
Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!
HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!