My friend, may I ask you a question? There’s an old saying that we ought to “laugh to the devil’s envy.” Why? Is it because the devil isn’t capable of laughter, so he’s jealous? Do God and the angels own laughter? Should we ever consider laughter as trivial or just one of those marginal blessings that God has given?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
When was the last time that you laughed so hard that the tears came and your belly ached? If you’re like most adults, you’d be lucky to do that even once a year. Research has shown that as we grow older, we laugh less and with less intensity. Small children, under the age of 10, however, laugh up to 150 times a day. The average adult, you and I, less than 15, on the average. (Youth Worker Update, Signs of the Times, August 1993, p. 6.) Added to that, young children employ more of their body in laughter. They really get into it, in the majority of those 150 laughs. Adults, on the other hand, seldom put more than a minimum, physical effort into their laughter.
There’s an old saying that we ought to “laugh to the devil’s envy.” Why? The devil isn’t capable of laughter, so he’s jealous. God and the angels own laughter. Laughter isn’t trivial or just one of those marginal blessings that God in His wisdom poured out with a bunch of other nice things. It’s singular, important and, unfortunately, missing from many Christian’s lives. The result might be critical.
Here’s a thought. Author Norman Cousins tells of being hospitalized with a rare, crippling disease. When he was diagnosed as incurable, Cousins checked out of the hospital. Aware of the harmful effects that negative emotions can have on the body, Cousins reasoned the reverse was true. So he borrowed a movie projector and prescribed his own treatment, consisting of Marx Brothers films and old "Candid Camera" reruns. It didn't take long for him to discover that 10 minutes of laughter provided two hours of pain-free sleep. Amazingly, his debilitating disease was eventually reversed. After the account of his victory appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cousins received more than 3000 letters from appreciative physicians throughout the world. (Today in the Word, December 18, 1991.)
I believe that God blesses both weeping and laughing. They’re holy to God, but laughter is special. When the angels announced the birth of Jesus Christ, they came with joy and what was, undoubtedly, hilarious, heavenly laughter. In fact the night was probably filled with the most tremendous tear-invoking, belly bursting laughter as has never been heard before or since. Unfortunately, you and I, so weary of life and subject to stress and anxiousness, aren’t probably able to bear that level of laughter. Perhaps if we return to our childhood, the simple things that caused us to laugh even when hurt abounded, we might, someday qualify for a heavenly titter or two. Ultimately, one important goal in life for all of us is to learn how to laugh more often and more heartily. The angels can bear it and God expects it; why are you waiting?
We pray. Heavenly Father, laughter is not one of the things we grew up associating with You. A dazzling, glowing bright aura, and a big exalted throne, surrounded by “legions” of angels, yes—but we never imaged You laughing. We so look forward to the day when we actually get to hear You laugh; for that will be the Day when all evil, wickedness, and injustice will be eradicated. It’s hard to conceive of a universe, a nation, a city, a relationship—even one heart, our hearts—in which every semblance of sin and brokenness is completely gone. What joy. What perfect joy. In Jesus Name! Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.