“All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:15)
With all the horrible, crazy, unbelievable things my body has put me through with illness, if I could not, on occasion, laugh at the absurdity of it all, I would probably have gone insane.
We laugh at pain, we can enjoy slapstick humor because we easily relate to it. We have all felt pain in our lives, and it can feel “safe” to laugh at pain when we know it is not real on television. It is cathartic to laugh at pain, perhaps driving our fear of pain a bit further from us.
Pain and misery are not humorous in themselves. No person in their right mind would laugh at the disabling diseases that put others in wheelchairs or that leave people suffering inscrutable pain. Yet when we can find moments to laugh at our own pain and misery it somehow loosens its powerful hold over us.
If someone falls down a flight of stairs, but then gets up unharmed, laughter disables the fear that had gripped our hearts over the event. Our ability to get back up after a fall, with a smile on our face, that is the strength of our humanity.
Some people think God does not have a sense of humor, but that is easily dispelled by looking around at His creation. We can see animals that are absurd and comical, like monkeys and penguins. We see people who are perpetually happy and smiling, even in the midst of sickness and disease, and we know that must be from God.
I would never tell you to pretend you are not miserable and suffering when you are in the midst of pain, but I would encourage you to ask God to give you joy to ease your pain. And I know from experience, if you can find a quiet moment of contemplation to laugh or at least smile about the crazy circumstances in your life, you will feel better for it.
Prayer: Dear Lord, our misery can leave us joyless and without laughter. Help us to find Your joy, and to never lose our sense of humor. Amen.
About the Author
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He has had more opportunity to cry than laugh, but he works hard at retaining a sense of humor.
How long has it been since you have laughed? Why not give it a try?
This song is called “Only a Mountain” and is sung by Jason Castro, former contestant on American Idol. The songs talks about how we may come up to many challenges in life, but really they are “only mountains” and God has that mountain thing already covered! I hope it encourages you this week as you are feeling overwhelmed with exhaustion, perhaps thinking about things you would have done differently over the holidays, and dreading putting away all the messes and decorations. Remember to laugh! After all, it’s only a mountain! -Lisa
Many people watched Jason Castro on American Idol (including myself!) but they never realized he was a Christian. Here is where he shares the story of his faith.