When last did you have a good old belly laugh? I laughed
quite a bit at the weekend, when my friend’s toddler daughter went for an involuntary jet ski lesson over wooden floors, courtesy of holding on to my son’s waist and him moving too fast for her little feet to keep up. You had to be there – hilarious!
I also somehow laughed – after the initial shock – when my husband and I were informed that our car had been written off after a recent accident. Not really a laughing matter for a family of five who’ve got places to be and with winter on the way, but I just preferred to see the funny side and believe it would all work out instead of succumbing to stress.
I’ve been told that I seem to laugh at everything. I’ve been told that I laugh too much. In the past, this comment has made me feel super self-conscious whenever I laughed from that point on, as it was implied, and even directly stated, that this is a negative thing which should be corrected.
Before I get into this, I’d like to point out that I’m not an insensitive person! I don’t laugh at bad news or when someone is clearly hurting. I’m far from perfect but I’m not oblivious to responding inappropriately.
A bit of background
I lived in a deep depression throughout my late teens and into my early twenties and for years (literally), struggled to even smile, let alone laugh at anything.
I felt hopeless, worthless and utterly despondent. I never laughed.
I don’t know if you can imagine what that’s like – to never laugh, or perhaps you’ve been there too so you know how it makes your heart ache hoping for a good old giggle that never comes.
Since I gave my life to Jesus aged 23 (a good few years ago now, we don’t need specifics), my perspective on unfunny things has changed radically. Don’t get me wrong, I still hurt when things are painful and I still experience things which are SERIOUSLY unfunny as we all do. I just somehow have the capacity to find the humour in situations where no-one else is laughing.
Laughing is good for you!
Laughter helps us change gears and break up the humdrum of life with joy. Proverbs 17:22 says:
“a merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
I ain’t even tryna have no dry bones out here, so a merry heart it is! Your inner-life affects your physical wellbeing!
Life can be taxing at times and moments come when we desperately need a change. Laughter can bring that sense of change, even if nothing has actually shifted, and is a simple prescription for some of life’s ills. Medical science has assigned healing properties to humour, especially in cases of mental illness, such as depression. Humour just has a way of diffusing tensions and putting us at ease.
Here’s me, even smiling (sort of) in a hospital gown about to have a chest x-ray. (All ok by the way, glory to God!)
With so much tragedy in life, choosing humour instead of despair may seem counterintuitive, but it is good scriptural advice. Humour generally involves an acceptance of the ups and downs of life but I add to that a determination to not take myself too seriously. In the midst of trials and suffering, laughter and a keen sense of humour have proven to be precious possessions to me.
Jesus and humour – really?
Psalms 2:4 says that God sits in the heavens and laughs and Jesus Himself was witty, unpredictable and full of life in His responses. If you read Matthew 22:15-22 , you’ll see how He cleverly eluded the trap of the Pharisees and exposed their hypocrisy, using irony, wordplay and hyperbole.
If Jesus can see the humorous side of a situation as serious as people plotting to see Him executed, then I can try to find the humour when faced with my kid’s challenging behaviour, bad news in the family, financial pressures, rejected applications and whatever else may be going on.
Be of good cheer, mama
Life is hard sometimes – fact. We’re all going to have challenging times, times of devastation and of disappointment. Jesus said, though, in John 16:33:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus uses this phrase “be of good cheer” at least seven times in the New Testament. This book by Charles Spurgeon expounds on each instance these comforting words were spoken by Jesus Himself.
I also love the scripture which is on the wooden sign in the image featured at the top of this post from Proverbs 31:25.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she laughs without fear of the future.”
That should be us, mamas! If you like this scripture too, you can find the ready-to-hang handmade wooden sign featuring this beautiful verse over at Amazon, click this link to have a look and get yours.
There’s hope! I challenge you to actively seek out the humour in your day and see if doing so helps to change your outlook in any way!
Until next time,
PS. Pop your thoughts and feedback on this post in the comments and let me know how you have overcome a difficult situation with laughter!
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