When was the last time you enjoyed a good belly laugh? Do you regularly laugh—I mean really laugh till your sides hurt? For as long as I can remember, my family has laughed together often. All it takes is one humorous comment or gesture, and the giggles start, followed by chortling, then cackling, howling, gasping, and roaring. By that stage, all our chest and abdominal muscles have been called into action, and side-splitting cheers and snorts erupt from a group otherwise referred to as “the quiet people”. Problems disintegrate. Anger and tension fly out the window. A warm sense of well-being flows between us.
A moment of shared laughter can break the tension in a roomful of people. A lighthearted spirit can lift the downtrodden and cause hope to return. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, Proverbs 17:22 tells us. Like a cure, is a literal translation of the word “medicine” in that verse. Endorphins and feel-good chemicals are released in our bodies when we laugh. The Message translation says, a cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
Laughter is a gift from God. He, more than anyone, knows the condition of the fallen world we live in and the exasperating challenges we face from day to day. The cure of laughter costs nothing. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17 NIV).
When you are bone-tired and feeling nothing but gloom and doom, ask the Lord for this wonderful gift of laughter. Milton Berle, an American comedian who entertained for over eighty years, said, Laughter is an instant vacation. When was your last “vacation”?