Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Happy Day"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 55:12 – So you will go out with joy and be led out in peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees in the fields will clap their hands. (NCV)
Psalm 126:2 – Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." (EHV – Evangelical Heritage Version)
A policeman came to my door, asking, "Are you the wife of Richard DeShaw?" I said, "Dick! Never Richard!" Right then, an old Irish joke suddenly popped into my mind: An insensitive cop asks a woman, "Are you the Widow Brown?" Indignantly, she says, "I am not a widow!" and the cop replies, "Well, you are now." Because of this simple joke, by the time the officer had finished telling me that my husband had died suddenly of a heart attack on the golf course, I was prepared to take in what he had to say. Where had that brief mental interruption come from? Only from God, who knew how hard this sudden news would be for me.
The spiritual life blooms when I find the ability to get my mind off myself. Self-pity is the exact opposite, moaning, Poor me, me, me… . One of the deep benefits of living a God-conscious life is sharing in the laughter. "Don't take yourself so seriously; nobody gets out alive," someone said. Weird things that happen to our bodies as we age have their funny side. Adult diapers can often be hilarious. One time, I had emergency surgery for a bowel blockage. The ostomy bag appliance that I was given to wear afterwards seemed extremely comical. Not much later, I conducted an interview for the cable television show for which I worked. During the show, my bag filled with air and began to quack. The student I was interviewing looked alarmed. "Do you hear a duck?" she asked me. I explained and she laughed along with me. Afterward, our camerawoman told me that she'd been wearing one for 30 years, but I was the first person she'd ever felt comfortable telling about it. When I wrote about it online, a nurse responded who had been trying to find help for persons who couldn't afford this appliance. "I'd been feeling desperate," she wrote, "but when I read why you thought wearing the thing was funny, I laughed till the tears ran down my face." Laughter is the sound of self-acceptance. A Sunday school song begins: Jesus and Others and You – what a wonderful way to spell JOY!
Colossians 1:12 – You will joyfully give thanks to the Father who has made you able to have a share in all that he has prepared for his people in the kingdom of light. (NCV)
Prayer: Loving heavenly Father, we are grateful to have daily opportunity to enjoy absurdities all around us as we share the light of Your wonderful world with others. Lead us away from self-centredness, especially pity, that we may spread the healing balm of humour where there is pain and need, forgetting ourselves in the joy of Your service. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.