I unpacked my suitcase this morning. There were grains of sand from the seashore still clinging to the hem of my white pants.
And there was a shell I’d found on the beach. A keepsake reminding me to LAUGH.
- Laugh at myself.
- Laugh in the middle of life’s circumstances.
- Laugh until olympic-sized tears skate down my cheekbones.
- Laugh because it’s good therapy.
Christians are called to be sober minded, but God’s Word also tells us repeatedly to “REJOICE.”
Last week, I rejoiced. I was on vacation, a summer oasis, from responsibilities and routine.
Hiking to a remote beach, the child within me came out to play. There was no one around to “laugh at me.”
So I ventured on sandy soil to the water’s edge, and watched the waves rise like a Behemoth out of the salty ocean. Each time the waves crashed against the beach, I squealed with laughter and ran away while the incoming tide pursued me. When I was safe beyond its reach, I’d turn around and chase the tide back into the ocean.
Child’s play, a game of Tag, made me laugh.
Laughter made me forget life’s troubles.
Author Victor Hugo said, “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”
But when I look at some Christians, winter seems to be the uniform of the day.
I know “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
I know Jesus was “a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)
But Jesus, God incarnate, was human. He experienced human emotions.
So in the midst of His day…serving, healing, teaching, praying, traveling….were there joyful moments that caused Jesus to laugh?
After Jesus’ resurrection, Peter was in a fishing boat when he recognized his Savior standing on the shore. Overcome with emotion, Peter threw himself overboard and swam to him.
Did that image make Jesus glad, make Him smile, perhaps even chuckle?
Scripture doesn’t refer to Jesus as laughing.
But that doesn’t mean laughter is evil.
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’” (Psalm 126:2)
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:6)
“He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.” (Psalm 2:4)
“There’s a time to weep, and a time to laugh…” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
And there are times I choose to laugh ….even in the midst of weeping.