July 24, 1991
So it takes more energy to frown than smile. So laughing burns 3 ½ calories. So happy people are healthy people. But when I am sad, I need more than a promise of energy, health and weight-loss to get me laughing again.
Actually, I want very much to be a full wit instead of only half a one. I TRY to remember jokes and funny stories. I’ve also invested in a few favorite cartoon books -- that usually produce a chuckle. Old movies and even CBC radio can be side-splitting and I have been known for the occasional practical joke. Life in an empty nest even holds its ribs in hysterics from time to time (as my even-more-serious-than-me husband comes up with some unexpected shenanigan). But with all that, I still feel I am far too serious. I would like to have a fuller sense of humor.
Actually God has one. Consider the giraffe’s looks, the skunk’s perfume and the antics of some of the more peculiar insects. They make us laugh and so they should; our Maker encourages us to have merry heart. He says it is like good medicine (Prov.17:22).
God Himself even laughs, but not at the same things we find amusing. He contemplates the wicked who plot against His people and “...laughs at him: for He sees that his day is coming” (Psalms 37:13).
While we normally don’t laugh in the face of those who mistreat us and might even consider it rude, laughing can be an attitude of heart that keeps us from falling into their false value systems. For instance, if the rich and famous on television or the bigger house up on easy street causes us to wonder if we missed out on the good life, Psalms 52:6 says: “The righteous shall see and fear, and laugh at those who trust in riches...”
Along the same vein, we can laugh in the face of trials. Job 5:22 says “At destruction and famine you shall laugh: neither shall you be afraid of the beasts of the earth.”
This was spoken to a man being chastened by the Lord (of all things), but the Bible affirms God only chastens His children. Put that all together... and what more reason to laugh? Even in trials, I am under the care of my heavenly Father -- who laughs at those who tries to destroy His children!
Another reason for laughter is forgiveness of sins, even though sin itself is certainly not a funny issue. It separates us from God and will send us to eternal damnation. Yet the person who mourns over displeasing God and who longs to be righteous is given the promise of eventual laughter: “Blessed are you that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh” Luke 6:21).
The idea is that true sorrow over sin leads to repentance, and repentance leads to faith in Jesus Christ and faith in Jesus Christ leads to forgiveness of sin and righteousness... and that leads to laughter!
Those who love God often find themselves laughing over what He does. He promised Sarah and Abraham a son but both entered old age and that promise seemed an impossibility. However, Sarah gave birth at ninety years! No wonder she said, “God has made me laugh...”
Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh...” Surely God’s people should find time for both sadness and laughter. We can easily be burdened over the sin and sorrows that plague our planet, and while it is right to weep and mourn over sin, we should never forget that God laughs. He knows Christ has secured complete victory over all that hurts and destroys. In the end, He will wipe away our tears and usher us into a heaven that is, I am certain, filled with holy laughter.