"A sound heart [is] life to the body, But envy [is] rottenness to the bones."
I've always loved this verse. Isn't it true that when we begin to envy or grow jealous we almost feel crippled inside? I have grown to hate the presence of jealousy, and to despise it when I start to feel it knocking at the proverbial door in my heart. I know to be true what Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:6: "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
Have you ever been going about your business, only to suddenly be accosted with the realization that someone has something that you need? And what was once at peace inside of you becomes a restless anxiety, one that won't be quieted until you possess whatever it is that you are missing? It doesn't have to be a "thing" as in a material thing, it could be a way of thinking, it could be an intellectual achievement, it could be a manner of talking or carrying oneself, whatever that "thing" may be, it can take whatever peace was in you and create total chaos. It's like that verse in Proverbs says, "anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy?"
During my quiet time this morning, I tried to figure out what the word "sound" meant, and why having a sound heart is life to my body. What I found was so encouraging, I just have to write about it! It means "health, healing, cure" and comes from the root word rapha, which is actually one of the names of God, Jehovah Rapha "The Lord My Healer".
For some reason, the idea that a sound heart means it's a healed heart makes having a sound heart so much more attainable! If sound heart meant it was something I had to innately possess, I'd be rather discouraged. I don't wake up every day feeling content, feeling perfectly happy. Some days I do, and aren't those wonderful mornings? Yawning yourself awake happily, with sunlight dancing across your room? But not every day is like that. Wouldn't it be so nice if we all were born naturally content? If it wasn't in our nature to want what we can't have or don't have or won't have? Even Eden, at 13 months, would rather have the "off-limits toys" than play with her own, ie: the trashcan, the glass pitchers, etc. She knows what it is to look beyond the wonderful world of pink cars and pink building blocks to the unknown area of the kitchen, and think that she'd be happier if she could play with what she hasn't been given. It's an innate part of our hearts to long for things that aren't supposed to be ours. But God came to heal those parts in us.
And if I'm faithful to present to Him the parts of me that aren't content, He can heal my heart and fill it so that I'm not busy looking around and hurrying to attain whatever I can. For what profit is it for a man to gain the world, but to lose his soul? God is the great soul-calmer, our soul's very best Physician. He's never turned away a patient yet. Isn't that good news? We can have a heart that is sound, giving life to our bodies, because He heals us.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" by Helen H. Lemmel
We would see Jesus; other lights are paling, which for long years we'd rejoiced to see, the blessings of our pilgrimage are failing; we would not mourn them, for we go to Thee.
"We Would See Jesus" by Anna B. Warner