Laughter – God’s Gift of Humor, Medicine for the Soul

I love to laugh! I intuitively know that laughter is good for me; mind, soul, and body, and I’m guessing you do too. As a little girl, I remember snuggling on the couch with my sisters getting a colossal case of the giggles while we watched I Love Lucy. Remember the scene where Lucy and Ethel are working at a candy factory conveyor belt? The line starts moving past them faster and faster and they stuff chocolates down their dresses, into their chef’s hats and mouths to try to keep up. What could be funnier than Lucy with her chipmunk cheeks full of chocolates? As I laughed along with my sisters, it just felt so good!Lucy and Ethel at chocolate factory In later years when my kids were small, they looked forward to visiting their Grandma and Grandpa in Florida. Grandpa Kermit loved to crack jokes and usually laughed harder than they did at his own silly riddles. A favorite was “Did you hear about the explosion downtown?” The kids would look at him with big, round eyes, “No!” When he gave the punchline, “The wind blew up Main Street!” I was sure they didn’t get it, but they did love laughing with their grandpa!

Karen, daughter when she was small, laughing Grandpa Kermit, 5 Star Grandpa

The Bible is full of characters who laughed. Abraham laughed when told by God that his wife Sarah was going to bear a son in their old age. Perhaps it’s a bit irreverent to laugh incredulously when the Almighty promises you something is going to happen, but Abraham did what we all do sometimes. Our laughter can erupt unbidden in the most inappropriate ways! Almost like the little kid who laughs when his mom promises him a puppy if he cleans his room every day for a month, and he can see his dad vehemently shaking his head behind her.  old men laughing

Three “men,” possibly two angels and the Lord himself, visit Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis 17 the Lord says that the old, childless couple will soon have a son. Abraham laughed when God told him he’d have a child when he was 100 and his wife was 90 years old, later Sarah did too! In Genesis 18:10-12 when Sarah overheard the visitors’ prediction of a son in their old age, “Sarah laughed to herself,” and the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Sarah turns afraid and lies, herself denying that she laughed. But the Lord knows, “Yes, you did laugh.” Be careful what you laugh at! God always knows your heart motive.

It’s quite fitting that Abraham and Sarah were told to name their son Isaac which means laughter. Our creator God has a sense of humor and designed us in His image to appreciate laughter. He also designed giraffes and penguins. Watch either animal and try not to laugh!

If you can revisit the mind of a kid in junior high the whole book of Song of Solomon is pretty funny. I remember a chuckle or two when I first jumped around in that book! Is it perhaps God’s way to prepare a young mind for the more serious scriptures, finding humor where it’s not intended? And while I hate to make jest at a serious plague brought down on Egypt by God in the book of Exodus…. A bunch of hoppy frogs? Really? The thought of those frogs wreaking havoc is … funny. Or is it just me?frog's face frog on leaf frog face popping out of water

Here’s a proverb that makes me laugh,

“If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting “Rise and shine!” It will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing.” Proverbs 17:20

I had a roommate like that when I was in college. Margaret was her name and she loved to get up early. She didn’t even drink coffee, she drank hot water so she wouldn’t stain her teeth. That oughta tell you something. I loved Margaret, even with her cheery morning ways, but really, I just wanted to sleep! glass of wine
Wine gladdens my heart, one glass in the evening. I love the subtle taste, dare I say aroma and finish? And yes, it stains my teeth. But more than one glass and I get too drowsy. This Psalm expresses the thought wonderfully!

 “… wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” Psalm 104:15

I picture a hearty bread dipped in flavorful olive oil, with a sip of wine to finish the ritual. Throw in some dark chocolate and it’s all the better. God is good! God knows you, God knows what you enjoy. For me, a glass of wine in the evening… and dogs!

Yes, dogs! Part of the purpose of this blog is for us to get to know each other. What makes me laugh? I have two sweet doggies named Oskar and Oakley and they bring me joy! My husband is so patient, dogs are not his thing. So I have a 25 lb limit and can’t have more than two at a time. I dream of a few labs and golden retrievers out in the country someday, but my two small spaniels give me great pleasure for now. I made sure my first pup Oskar is a Cubs fan like my husband. It gives them something in common. Oakley likes the Cardinals, but don’t tell my husband!Oskar puppy Cubs fan Oskar and Oakley my doggies

I swear Oakley talks to me as he vies for my attention and Oskar is always up for a tussle with his brother. I chuckle as I watch them play!  When Oskar was a puppy he made a friend, a big gorgeous Siberian husky named Glacier. Glacier was so stoic when Oskar zipped circles around him. Do you see the exuberance in Oskar’s dance and Glaciers patience with the puppy antics?  Tell me in the comments what makes you laugh!Glacier watching Oskar dance for joy

My dogs create the space in my spirit for a cheerful heart. I’ve saved the best for last,

 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 

I’ve experienced both, and much prefer a cheerful heart over the crushed spirit! God is good, I’m learning to trust His timing as he allows the good and the bad into my life. A good laugh makes even the bad stuff seem just a little bit better!

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Woman laughing by ocean

 

 

 

One thought on “Laughter – God’s Gift of Humor, Medicine for the Soul

  1. I love to laugh too, and I am blessed to have many joy filled memories with my sissies. I too love that God has a great sense of humor, and am tickled whenI see it in scripture. I named my son Isaac for a reason and he laughs more than anyone I know, although less laughter may have improved his college grades! Great article from a great writer.

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