When you were in school, did you ever notice that simply because you weren’t allowed to laugh, it made the laughing that much better? That there was something about trying to hold it in that made you laugh even harder? And it wasn’t just in school; church was the same way. In fact, any social situation that required total seriousness often became the theatre of suppressed laughter.
Laughter is a great release. I mean, we’ve all heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but how often do we hear of laughter in relation to God? In the Old Testament, a good bit of what we read about God boils down to wrath, vengeance, and judgment – not exactly “ha-ha” topics. Yet we also read of laughter in the Old Testament. Sarah laughs at the absurd notion that she will give birth at an age that everybody would consider physically impossible at which to give birth.
I also imagine King David laughing merrily while he is dancing in his underclothes, and in the very beginning, I can also imagine God laughing with delight as He basked in the glow of creation and saw that it was very good, indeed.
The Bible also tells us – in one of the most famous passages in probably one of the least-read books of the Bible, Ecclesiastes – that among the many things that there is a time for, there is a time to laugh. The trick is knowing when.
I actually am thankful that God has a sense of humor, although I must confess that I think that sense of humor is sometimes a little on the weird side. Personally, I cannot fathom why we would want to make God a cold, emotionless, uncaring deity. I would far rather serve a God who laughs when we laugh and weeps when we weep than a God who sits back and does nothing, whether we laugh or cry.
In other words, I would want to serve a God who cares deeply for us.
Lord, you have given us this wonderful gift of laughter. Grant us the wisdom to use it when we can use it to enrich lives and not tear them down. Amen.