I like to think God really enjoys a good laugh – you know the kind I’m talking about? The kind that bubbles up from deep down, makes your belly hurt, and cleanses your soul. There is NOTHING better to me than gathering with a group of friends and laughing till I can’t breathe. (There’s also usually a lot of food involved in said gatherings, so it’s an added bonus that laughing that way burns a few calories.)
Beyond just being awesome, there are some medical benefits to laughing too. This article from the Mayo Clinic says that laughter relieves stress, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles with more oxygen-rich air, and increases the endorphins released by your brain. Over time, laughter boosts your immune system, helps relieve pain by producing natural painkillers, increases personal satisfaction, and of course, improves your mood. Now tell me something that amazing isn’t straight from God?
Although it is good for us on any day, laughter can also help us cope with difficult, scary or sad situations. It is one tool God gives us to fight when we feel like giving up. I still remember when I was in labor with our first son, at 37 weeks, who we had just found out would be stillborn, joking around and finding things to laugh about. I know that the ability to joke and laugh was God’s medicine for me, because it makes no earthly sense how anyone could even squeak out one smile in a situation like that. I remember, upon his birth, looking at his head full of dark hair and saying, “You have a mullet. That’s not cool, baby.” I laughed. And now looking back on that horrific night, I can smile about a couple of moments here and there, where God took an ounce of that agonizing grief away, just for a split second, and infused the shreds of my broken heart with just a little bit of light. Aren’t you so thankful for your light-filled moments in the depths of unbearable darkness? Moments of laughter with friends and family in the midst of such intense grief are oxygen to the soul. They give us the strength to take that one next step.
As confidently as I know that laughter and a good sense of humor are from God, I wish there were verses in the Bible that told us that God or Jesus had a good belly laugh. Those don’t exist, but there are a couple of verses to show that laughter and a happy spirit are things God values. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” In Luke 6, Jesus Himself says that laughter will soon be coming to those who weep. I imagine Jesus often looks at us – our jealousy, our petty squabbles, our Facebook tirades, and the little things that break up our relationships, and just wishes we would take ourselves a little less seriously. In my opinion, we need a lot more love and plenty more giggle fits.
Still not sure if God has a sense of humor?
Consider the Proboscis Monkey.
Or the Axolotl.
Or the Blobfish, for goodness sakes.
I mean. Come on. You know He was cracking up when He said, “Let there be a Blobfish.”
And it was hilarious.
And just for kicks and giggles, here are a few things in the Bible that maybe weren’t meant to be funny, but I find amusing
Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. – 2 Chronicles 21:20
A beautiful woman who rejects good sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. – Proverbs 11:22
The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully… she lays her eggs in the ground and let’s them warm in the sand, unmindful that a foot may crush them…she treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers; she cares not that her labor was in vain, for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense. – Job 39:13-17
He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing. – Proverbs 27:14
Yelling loudly in the morning = cursing. CAN I GET AN AMEN? (Somebody tell my kids.)
I hope this made you smile today. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:27). I don’t know about you, but laughter is very high up on my list of wonderful gifts. Please do me a favor today. Don’t take yourself quite so seriously. Laugh at yourself and go share that laughter with someone else. It might just turn their whole day around.