Did you know that people who laugh live longer? It’s true. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the bones.” Humour is an amazing thing. It’s a tension dissolver. It’s an antidote to anxiety. It’s just like a tranquilizer, but without any of the troublesome side effects. What’s more, it’s free! You don’t even need a prescription. Laughter is life’s shock absorber. If you want to have less stress in your life, learn to laugh at your circumstances and at the things going on around you.
Someone once asked U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln how it was that managed to he handle all the stresses of the Civil War. His reply was quoted as, “If it hadn’t been for laughter, I could not have made it.” So learn to laugh. If you can laugh at it, it’s more likely that you will be able to live with it. And besides, if you learn to laugh at your troubles, you’ll never run out of anything to laugh at! Peter Harvey, a well-known Australian political analyst and commentator, once said, “I don’t know any good jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” We all need to develop a sense of humour.
One of my favourite verses in Scripture is Psalm 2:4, “The One enthroned in heaven laughs.” Isn’t that a great verse? God has a sense of humour. God laughs! Have you ever seen the face of an orang-utan? God thought that one up! That proves He has a sense of humour. Do you want to be more like God? Then learn to laugh because a sense of humour has a way of preserving your sanity.
I know what it is like at times for you…because it is the same at times for me. One irritation can sometimes follow another, and before you know it, your day is ruined. I read the following account from 1982 under the heading “Strange and Unusual Events.” It tells about a man named Brian Heise who had what you might call a “very irritating day”:
“Brian Heise had more than his share of luck in July of 1982, and most of it was bad. When his apartment became flooded from a broken pipe in the upstairs apartment, the manager told him to go out and rent a water vacuum. That’s when he discovered his car had a flat tyre. He changed it, then went inside again to phone a friend for help. The electric shock he got from the phone so startled him that he inadvertently ripped the phone and its connection right off the wall. Before he could leave the apartment a second time, a neighbour had to kick down the apartment door because water damage had jammed it tight. While all of this was going on, someone stole Heise’s car, but it was almost out of petrol. He found it a few blocks away but had to push it to the petrol station, where he filled up the tank. That evening Heise attended a military ceremony at Brigham Young University. He injured himself severely when he somehow sat on his bayonet, which had been tossed onto the front seat of his car. Doctors were able to stitch up the wound, but no one was able to resuscitate four of Heise’s canaries that were crushed to death by falling plaster in his apartment. After Heise had slipped on the wet carpet and badly injured his tailbone, he said he began to wonder if “God wanted me dead, but just kept missing.”
And you think you’ve had some bad or difficult days! Sometimes, all you can do is laugh! Take my advice: acquire a sense of humour. Learn to laugh – especially at yourself. It’s relaxing and healing and a buffer to all the stress the world throws your way.
Pray with me: “Lord, I thank You for the ability to laugh – in all its flavours, colours and shades. Help me to see the better and more pleasing things in the midst of the dark patches. Amen.”
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