Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven"1 (Lyrics)
This present year is like none that we've ever known. When we pay attention to the news, we are informed of all the families who have lost someone they love — a hard and harsh reality. We hear about doctors, nurses, long-term care workers, and others who are on the front lines of this war and who are daily facing incredible hardships and risks. Those of us who are at home know the effects of social distancing and being directed to stay at home except for essentials.
It is good to find something that gives our spirits a lift and helps us through the days. The ancient Proverb reminds us that laughter is healthy for us.
Proverbs 17:22a – A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. (KJV)
Health authorities bear out this wisdom. We are told that hearty laughter relieves stress, helps us to relax, and improves our immune system. It distracts us from pain that we may be experiencing and generally makes us feel better. When we are going through a time of tension and stress, jovial laughter will lighten our mood.
Not long ago, a friend forwarded a piece called A little humour in desperate times. In this piece were numerous statements that evoked chuckles and even laughter as I read. Here are some of the statements:
- Every few hours, try on your jeans to make sure they fit.
Pyjamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
I need to practice social distancing from the refrigerator.
I'm so excited — it's time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?
Day 6 of homeschooling: My child just said, "I hope I don't have the same teacher next year."
A current hymn book includes a piece written by Walter Farquharson and set to lilting, upbeat music. We are reminded that laughter is a gift from God:
- Give to us laughter, O Source of our life.
Laughter can banish so much of our strife.
Laughter and love give us wholeness and health.
Laughter and love are the coin of true wealth.
In sober days such as these, we can bring a lighter air into the lives of family, friends, and the folks that we encounter, albeit at a distance via telephone and the Internet, through sharing funny tales that we know. We can confront the scary headlines of today's news with humour, to diminish the dark thoughts that may threaten to overwhelm. Through our faith that God will sustain us and carry us through to the end, He enables us to share His light and love as we allow ourselves to be bearers of humour, for merry hearts do good like medicine.
Prayer: God of good gifts, we are going through a tough time just now. We need all the tools at our disposal to come safely through. Help us to be cheerful, hope-bearing witnesses to Your love. Place within us Your thoughts and ideas to enable us to lift others up with life-giving words and messages as we travel together into the future with You as our Helper and Hope. Enable us to know when and how to use the gift of humour along the way to lighten the loads of others and ourselves. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.