Laughter is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (NKJV)
I just love Proverbs. The word pictures are simply…well perfect.
I cringe and instinctively massage my nose when I read, “…the wringing of the nose brings forth blood.” (KJV) I also think twice and count to ten when anger begins to boil within me because this word picture given in Proverbs 30:33 reminds me of the damage anger produces.
And when I remember that living life with a contentious woman is the same as a constant dripping on a rainy day (Proverbs 27:15), I clamp my mouth shout when I want to nag hubby. I’d much rather be compared to rubies (Proverbs 31:10) than an annoying drip…drip…drip of water.
So, when was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Was it yesterday? Last week? Or has it been so long you can’t remember?
It is hard to love if you are gloomy all the time. And it is hard to be loved if your disposition is all prickles and your expression resembles a prune.
There is no doubt that there are very serious problems going on all around us and no one would argue that life is hard more often than not. I, for one, have had a few difficult years. Not as bad as some, but enough back to back heart breaks to overshadow and even overwhelm my little slice of the world. Slowly, ever so slowly the joy of my soul was being covered up with the cares of this present age. My bones were drying up.
Until one day I realized I didn’t laugh anymore…hardly ever. In fact I couldn’t remember the last time I let out a burst of uninhibited, tears in my eyes, can’t catch my breath laughter.
I might smile at a cute baby picture, but that smile would soon be replaced with the fact I was getting older every day with no grandchildren in sight. Or I might chuckle at the antics of the penguins at the zoo, but soon the pain in my legs would scream for attention and the fun of that moment would be forgotten.
I use to laugh.
But somewhere in the midst of being all grown up and navigating my way through my own version of a mid-life crisis, I believed the very “false lie” (King of Siam) that life is too serious and too short to allow for any kind of frivolity. No mature disciple of Christ would cheapen the cross with daily merriment.
Well you can just imagine how enjoyable I was to be around. Quite frankly I didn’t even want to be around myself. I was the ultimate drag.
Finally I had enough of carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was so pitiful that I had to write down on my version of a bucket list, “I will laugh every day.”
But that five word sentence is a constant reminder that as a disciple of Christ I should have the greatest joy. I should be laughing at every beautiful sunrise and sunset because the God of Creation said, “It is good.”
It’s okay for me to laugh at the dog’s daily chasing of the tail. For what other purpose would he do that than to make me laugh?
And it is definitely okay for me to laugh at myself when I introduce Uncle Ted and Aunt Betty as “Aunt Ted and Uncle Betty.” Yep, I did that and more than once!
I haven’t come to this place of joy, merry heart and laughter on my own. My family, especially my husband, has and continues to remind me not to take everything so serious. Lots of stuff to be serious about, but not everything in life is life or death.
And I committed to find joy and laughter in God’s Word, in His bath of prayer and in His pleasure of my worship.
And finally I am still in process of devouring a very deep book about Christian joy and happiness John Piper’s “Desiring God.” (http://www.desiringgod.org/) If you struggle at all with the question, “Are Christians supposed to happy, not just joyful, but happy?” read this book. Not an easy read; What of John Piper’s is, but so worth the time and effort to understand this essential and liberating truth.
The world is still full of problems. I still am grandchildless and the pain in my legs is always lurking about. But, I have chosen to laugh many times a day. (The key word is “chosen.”)
Not in spite of these things, but because these things are all in God’s almighty everlasting hands and that realization makes my heart smile which opens the flood gates for the good medicine of laughter.
I have taken the daily dose of laughter and my heart is merry. My bones are no longer dry.
How about you? Have you laughed today? If not here is some medicine for today.
“God looks down and notices that Adam is all alone while all the animals have companions, so he decides to create a companion for man as well. He comes to see Adam and says to him, “Adam, you are my greatest creation and therefore, I am going to create for you the ultimate companion. She will worship the very ground you walk on, she will long for you and no other, she will be highly intelligent, she will wait on you hand and foot and obey your every command, she will be beautiful, and all it will cost you is an arm and a leg.” Thinking for a few moments, Adam replies, “What could I get for a rib?”” (www.christian-jokes.net)
Tell me. What makes you laugh?
Photo By: Margaret Richards | http://richardsandcompany.smugmug.com/