I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices.
—Psalm 16:8-9

In his book “Laugh Again,” Chuck Swindoll retells the short story by G.W. Target entitled “The Window.” Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their service in the military, where they had spent their vacations. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and the color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color. And a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all of this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band, he would see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take his body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch. After making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained and slowly turned to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

People who tie their happiness to only that which is visible are doomed to disappointment in life. To maintain our joy, we need to have a positive purpose in life that is bigger than our own peace, prosperity, and pleasure.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power of a Positive Purpose” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Quote from Charles R. Swindoll, “Laugh Again” (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 1992), 50.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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