(Laughing Baby photo by Weird Beard @ Flikr - Creative Commons License)
2012: A Year of Thanksgiving and Praise
Day 18: Today, I am Thankful for Laughter
I was thinking about laughter today. Seems it's a popular vein in my household right now. I came home, and Nick has been watching comedians all night. Laughter is a good thing.
Have you ever had one of those days (or nights) when everything just strikes you as funny? You start laughing and just can't stop.You can barely talk because you are laughing so much. Every time you think you have your laughter under control, you start up again.
It's been a long time since I've laughed like that. I think I'm overdue for a good belly laugh.
There's nothing like laughing so hard that your stomach hurts and your muscles ache -- both in your abdomen and in your face!
There's also nothing like the laughter of babies and young children. There is such an innocence and wonder. Just hearing them laugh is enough to warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.
Proverbs 17:22 tells us: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine..."
You can look at that as a nice saying, or you can take it as the absolute truth. Norman Cousins believed in the healing power of laughter. In the 60's he was diagnosed with a collagen disease. Wracked with pain, he was hospitalized and put on pain killers. After some research, he checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel. He hired a nurse to read funny stories to him and play Marx Brothers movies for him. Soon, he was off pain pills and sleeping pills and returned to work. He wrote two books on health, "Anatomy of an Illness" and "The Healing Heart".
I believe there should be a difference between Christians and non-Christians. I think people should be able to look at us and know that there is something different about us. We should have a sparkle, a light, a joy that others don't have.
"Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them."
~ Psalm 126:2
Why should we be downcast? We are children of the Almighty God who provides for us out of His abundance of riches in Christ Jesus!
But, how many Christians do you know whose faces are creased with frown lines? How many Christians walk around looking like they just lost their best friend? Yet, we are supposed to let our lights so shine that we bring other to Christ.
"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken...."
~ Proverbs 15:13
What does your countenance reflect? Cheerfulness? Or a broken spirit? When people look at your face, do they want what you have?
That's the kind of life we should be living. Others should look at us and say "I don't know what you have, but I want it!"
I don't know how the idea ever came about that Christians should look so serious and pious all the time. And where did we ever get the impression that church services should be solemn and somber? The Israelites sang and danced and played tambourines as a normal part of their worship. When did worship become so boring?
I'm thankful that I go to a church where laughter is OK. We have had some speakers who have literally had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks.
God wants us to enjoy life. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to laugh and sing and dance. I believe that it brings Him joy when we do those things.
If we want to draw others to Christ, we need to seriously look at the way we live our lives. If all they know of Christian living is what we model, and what we model is a frown and a sorry attitude, they are going to run in the opposite direction. I think this happens a lot, unfortunately. The image many non-Christians have of Christians is that we are poor not only in spirit, but financially as well. They see us as dogmatic, opinionated and judgmental. What we should be showing them is what God is.
God is love and mercy and peace and joy... and laughter.
These are the things we need to incorporate into our lives. These are the things we need to share with others. These are the things we need to embody. These are the things we need to mirror to those around us.
I'm pasting a link to a youtube video of laughter. There were several to choose from. Maybe it will rub off on you and bring a smile to your lips. Maybe it will make you laugh.
I wish you joy and laughter every day of your life.
Today, I'm thankful for laughter.