“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Prov. 17:22, ESV)
“Jesus, pray for Mommy. Paige in crib. THIS piggy to market! … [and then, at the top of her lungs and with all the faith she could muster] … Aaaaaaaaaaaa-MEN!”
I was absolutely bursting with laughter. But we’re trying to teach her to talk to Jesus about the things that are important to her – and apparently piggies going to the market are important – so I struggled with all my might to maintain a straight face. After all, she was praying so earnestly!
It brought back childhood memories of family devotions after dinner. My dad would open the Bible with his usual no-nonsense look and, in his usual no-nonsense tone, he would begin to read. Suddenly, out of nowhere, one of us girls would be struck with the giggles. Within seconds, all of us (including my mom) would be overcome by gales of laughter.
My dad – the only male in a house full of females – never got the joke (probably because there wasn’t one). The only thing he got was increasingly frustrated. Of course, that always made us giggle even harder. (Poor Dad!)
I guess I’ve never really been good at being solemn!
I’ll never forget when, as a newborn, my daughter loudly … um … flatulated (is that a word?) in the middle of the pastor’s sermon and everyone turned around and stared. Even more explosive than my daughter’s gas was her mother’s laughter (my sister, who was quaking with laughter next to me, certainly didn’t help the situation).
I’m sure we’ve all experienced instances like these (please tell me it’s not just me!). Sometimes it’s so blasted hard to behave appropriately! I like to imagine that, in those times, God lets out a deep belly laugh right along with us. After all, did you know that the word “joy” is used over 200 times in the Bible and can be found in almost every book? God is the one who gave us our sense of humour.
I understand that there is a time to laugh and a time to be serious (Ecc. 3:4) and I’m not saying we should be irreverent or abandon a healthy fear of God. I’m just saying that it’s good to lighten up. There are moments when life is funny.
Sometimes, those moments just happen to occur at the most inappropriate times.