ODJ: Living Proverbially

April 5, 2017 

READ: Proverbs 17:1-28 

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength (v.22).

Deep in the African bush lives a missionary couple named Bob and Martha, who have served in Namalu (a village in Karomoja, Uganda) for more than fifteen years. Despite formidable challenges such as surrounding tribal conflicts, it is here that they’ve chosen to raise their children and joyfully lead a vibrant ministry.

In addition to their deep faith in Jesus, I believe some other reasons for their ability to persevere are their rich sense of humour and overall positive outlook on life. The remarkable duo live “proverbially”, with the type of good cheer, even temperament, sensibility and loyalty described in Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

A recent post from Martha captures the spirit with which the couple faces challenges. Martha wrote from the capital city of Uganda, where she and her family had gone to stock up on food before returning to the bush, “Beautiful morning in Kampala, but it looks like Bob is down with malaria again, so the girls get to sleep in after all. Maybe I’ll catch up with a few pals around town.” She could see the silver lining even in her husband’s illness!

For more than a decade, the couple has loyally helped their Karamojong friends in their “time[s] of need” (v.17), providing love, support and true compassion. They’ve maintained sensibility by keeping “their eyes glued on wisdom” (v.24), rather than letting the suffering they’ve witnessed cause them to lose heart.

Bob and Martha truly epitomise the beauty of serving God and others with passion and grace. Consider today how you can serve God and others with a “cheerful heart”, in the love and power He provides.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: 2 Samuel 11:1-27

Read Proverbs 1:7 and consider where true knowledge and wisdom for life is found. 
How can you better focus your eyes on wisdom? How can wisdom lead you to passionately and joyfully serve God and others?