This post was featured on October 1, 2012. We would like to dedicate today’s reposting of this blog to our cousin Linda Freck. May those who loved her remember her smiles and her laughter. This devotion was written by Marge McCoy with a heritage photo courtesy of the Garrigues Family Album.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing. Job 8:21
A merry heart does good, like medicine. Proverb 17:22
If you spend time on facebook, twitter or even just texting on your phone I bet you use the three little letters LOL from time to time. It’s easy to type LOL. It’s cute, it’s quick and it conveys a point. We type it often but how often do you really LAUGH OUT LOUD? I mean a big hearty belly laugh? When is the last time you found yourself laughing so hard your stomach hurt or laughing until you cried happy tears? Do you ever laugh so loud you snort or feel like you will wet your pants? I know, I know we are adults and adults are supposed to be refined and reserved but come on, you have to admit that laughing is FUN!
I would love to know what was said or done moments before this picture was taken. Obviously it was something pretty hilarious to this group of young cousins. Take a minute to look at the expressions on the faces. Each one is happier than the next. The laughter of children is filling the air. Joy is clearly shown on each face. These faces are my cousins, my sisters and me. These faces are now in their 40s and 50s scattered from New York to Ohio and from Indiana to Florida. I can’t remember the last time all these faces were in one room. I hope each one of these faces has something to laugh about. I hope each has something to fill them with joy. When I came across this candid snapshot it made me smile. It made me want to laugh out loud.
Did you know that laughter is good for us? Laughter can change a mood. At times laughter can be planned but most often it comes on us quickly and unexpectedly. Sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves and sometimes we need to laugh along with others. Did you ever hear a baby laugh so deep and hearty that you just had to chuckle too? Did you ever see the delight in a child’s face as they “get” the punch line of a joke? They usually have to share it over and over. Did you ever get to a funny part of a movie and rewind it to hear it again? We like to laugh. We need to laugh. As we get older we don’t laugh as much and we don’t laugh as loud. Children find humor in many things. They naturally allow laughter to bubble up from within, they don’t stifle it and it just spills on out and infects others. It’s contagious, this thing called laughter. It is really hard to be in a room full of people who are laughing and not join in with at least a grin or a giggle. Laughter really is like medicine.
There are times to be serious but the Bible also encourages laughter? This wonderful book even tells us that laughter does our body good. Doctors agree that laughter is good for your heart, laughter helps your muscles relax, laughter aids in pain reduction, it lowers of blood pressure and acts as a natural anti-depressant. Laughter is free, you don’t have to sit in the waiting room to get it and there is no co-pay. Laughter is a reward in the middle of a busy day, a happy little interlude. It’s ok to laugh out loud if something is funny. You are never too old to laugh. While we don’t want to laugh at other people or at cruel or crude jokes, we should not shy away from times of pure laughter because laughter is a gift from God.
Dear Lord, so often we face uncertainty, sorrow or depression. At times struggles and worries bombard us and seem to steal our joy. We want to pause and thank you for laughter. Thank you for giving us opportunities to see things in a funny way. Help us to have a light heart. Help us to smile more, to laugh more and work harder to make others laugh. For when we smile, laugh and cheer others up we will in turn be blessed with a happy heart. Help us Lord to use the medicine of laughter, Amen.
By Marge McCoy