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Uncle Larry And Laughter

My Uncle Larry was the funniest person I knew. I loved being around him because he always made me laugh. My mother's side of the family loved to laugh, pick (southern for tease), and play pranks on each other. They always got the giggles. I can see the grown-ups laughing like children, slapping their knees and wiping tears from their eyes. When I was in college I had spent the night with my Granny for the weekend. At that time I was used to sleeping in til eleven on Saturdays. What felt like the middle of the night, it was 7ish, I heard Uncle Larry yell up the stairs, "Jill! Jill!" It startled me and I said, "what?" Uncle Larry said, "are you expecting a call?" I answered no. Then I started thinking, it must be an emergency. Who would call? So I yelled down, "why". Quickly, he responded, "ok. You haven't gotten one. Just making sure you weren't expecting one."

Times are tough right now and we have to remember to laugh. As I have said before, laughter is good for us. There are many medical benefits! Proverbs 17: 22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Science tells us what King Solomon told us thousands of years ago in Proverbs 15: 13. He wrote, "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit." He also told us there is a time for everything, and certainly there is a time for laughter and rejoicing. Ecclesiastes 3: 1,4, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:....a time to weep and a time to laugh..."

I believe laughter is a gift from God. It fights against stress, anxiety, fear and worry. Even when life is hard and not funny, we can have joy. Sometimes we have to work hard to find amusement in our days. A while back I opened the cabinet to get a glass and there was a gallon of milk in there! I could have gotten irritated that the milk had gone bad but instead I had to laugh. No one meant to do that! And they probably had a lot on their mind to do that. I thought it was hilarious because sometimes that is how life is! Proverbs 15: 15, "All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast."

I have always heard the joy of the Lord is our strength. I have laughed in situations when things weren't really humorous. When we can do that I think that laughter indicates a heart of trust. We know times are hard but we are going to be ok. Our circumstances don't change that. Judges 19: 6, “Let your heart be merry.” The Bible says that God laughs. Psalm 2: 4, "God, who sits in Heaven, laughs!” I often wonder if he is laughing at us, in a parental way.

Think about a Proverbs 31 woman who is a wife of noble character. It goes on to tell us how smart, industrious and righteous we are to be but don't stop reading there. I love verse 25, "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." My daughter wrote me a letter and included this verse while I was beating breast cancer. We laughed a lot during that time - not because the cancer was funny. Maybe we knew it was temporary and we knew Who was in charge! When we laugh at those times I think it is us giving up control. I am sure Satan does not like it when we can laugh during hard times because we are essentially saying, God's got this and He sees the whole picture! I am going to be ok!

Psalm 126: 2, "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'” We are a great witness when we can trust God enough to laugh during the hard times. I believe that is one reason God has given us the ability to laugh. Have you ever seen a baby with a belly laugh and every time you hear them you laugh? I believe laughter is contagious. Maybe Sarah knew that when she said in Genesis 2`: 6, ""God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." And I laugh every time I read Scripture about her getting pregnant in her 90's! And yet we know that it did happen!

Keep laughing! Find the "Uncle Larry" in your life! “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15: 13


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