By Leslie Snyder
There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. — Ecclesiastes 3:3a
One of our family’s favorite songs is from the musical, Mary Poppins. “I Love to Laugh” is sprinkled with laughter and often begins a contagious wave of the giggles. The lyrics give a bit of insight into this silly gift of laughter:
When things strike me as funny
I can’t hide it inside
And squeak – as the squeakelers do
I’ve got to let go with a ho-ho-ho…
And a ha-ha-ha…too!
We love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
We love to laugh
So ev’rybody can hear
The more you laugh
The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more we’re a merrier we!
It’s getting worse every year.*
Some think that Jesus was always serious, that He never laughed. It is true, that it is never recorded in the gospel accounts that Jesus laughed. Still, Jesus knew the Scriptures. He knew the passage from Ecclesiastes, that there is “a time to laugh.” In Luke, chapter 10, after Jesus has sent out 72 of His followers on a mission and they had returned and given their report, we read, “And he (Jesus) said to them, ‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning…’ At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, I praise you Father…” In my own mind, I don’t see it a stretch to envision Jesus laughing.
Recent statistics share that laughter peaks at the age of four, meaning that four-year-old children laugh more than they will at any other age. Statistics also reveal the healing power of laughter. Laughter decreases stress, releases natural mood-lifting endorphins, fights off depression, and strengthens the body. It is also a gift from God and music to his ears. So, whether you are four, 40, or 94, or whether you snicker, tee-hee, or enjoy a full-belly laugh, find time today to laugh.
1. How is your sense of humor? When was the last time you had a really good laugh?
2. How does laughter affect your life? How can it serve to strengthen your life as a Christ-follower?
Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 66:1; Isaiah 55:12; Galatians 5:22
*”I Love to Laugh”, lyrics by Sherman & Sherman