Life can be so serious. There’s a lot of important stuff going on, important things we need to be doing, and important matters we need to take seriously. If you’re like me, you sometimes let the seriousness of life make you too serious. So I need to remind myself to laugh a little.
Laughter can be heard in different countries and cultures. People have been laughing for millennia. There’s something about the way humans are designed that causes us to respond to certain situations and jokes by laughing. The Bible says that people are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). God designed not just our bodies but our minds as well. He made it so we can find delight in simple things that make us chuckle. It’s an indication of the delight that God himself embodies and something believers in Jesus will enjoy forever in heaven. The Bible reminds us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). Laughter is a good gift from God to humanity. Since that’s the case, maybe some of us could enjoy it a little more.
There’s a college student on our staff at the church where I’m a pastor. We have all sorts of serious stuff to discuss at our staff meetings. But do you know one of the gifts she is to our staff? She makes us laugh at every one of our meetings. It’s usually a perfectly timed and very unexpected one-liner that instantly lightens the mood. I hope she knows what a gift that is.
For a number of years, I facilitated a grief support group at my church for people who had lost a loved one to death. It was some heavy stuff. It can be emotionally exhausting to come alongside each other and support one another week after week in moments of intense emotional pain. Do you know what some of the best moments of those meetings were? They were when someone was able to get a room full of grieving people to laugh together. It was beautiful and the perfect thing to lighten the mood at just the right time.
When our family reflects on some of our fondest memories, it’s not usually the serious stuff that comes to mind. It’s not the fact that we got our taxes in on time or that the cars still run. It’s usually the silly stuff like dancing in the living room together, swimming at the lake, playing goofy games the parents always lose, or laughing together over root beer floats and a game of Chinese checkers. The moments of laughter are some that we remember and cherish the most.
What does it tell us about God that he invented people who laugh? What does it say about the gift of laughter when it’s often the perfect medicine? Why do you think God made laughter something everyone can do and something that’s closely tied to our fondest memories? I think it gives us a little glimpse of what he’s like. And I think it’s just another bit of evidence that he loves us. He could have made everything serious and boring, but he didn’t. And isn’t it so much better this way?
The serious stuff is important and well worth our time. There won’t always be moments of laughter. Sometimes we’ll even go through seasons of many tears. God is there in the difficult times. Jesus is there with us to uphold and sustain us by his unending and unfailing love. But just so you know, he’s also there in the moments of laughter. That’s a gift from him too.
Go ahead, laugh a little.