I received a note when Larry’s Lilly’s Journal for February was posted on my website, Larry Lilly Live. The featured sermon deals with humor in marriage. I used humor for it sells better than tears. If a little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down, then it’s for certain that a little humor along the way eases the pain along the path of life. At least I have found this to be true.
An old proverb has it; “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and the world laughs at you.” I found this proverb to be true for the most part. Most people would rather visit with a humorous person than a professional weeper. Everyone feels free to join in a good laugh, yet many do not know how to sincerely join with shedding a tear. This is reserved for especially mature souls or the purely innocent as children or dogs. I know dogs will empathize with a down human for I have experienced it often over some pretty rough years.
Crying has strange effect on most people, especially the tears of someone you love, or a superior. Joyce states emphatically that men cannot stand a woman’s tears because they know that in some mysterious way they, the men, are responsible for her tears. Often the woman cannot say just how, but insists it is, in the vast realm of God’s unknown, the man’s fault. Men, everyone is better off if we just nod our heads in agreement and continue to live in wonderment.
In all my years of walking, laughing, even playing on God’s green earth, I have never known people to enter into a thoughtful, melancholy mood because someone was laughing. Who doesn’t get a little out of emotional kilter at the sight of a friend weeping?
The scripture is replete with the benefit of humor. Such a scripture is found in Job 8:21 “Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.” It seems this outburst is related to a statement by Bildad, one of Job’s “friends.” Perhaps Job was able to laugh at the thought? Could be. Anyway, even in Job’s situation laughter seems better than crying. The same may be true in your tough times.
The benefit of laughing is given to us in Psalms 30:5 “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” The assurance that the tears associated with chastening is like life, just a vapor, but joy will come in the morning, when the storm’s over. The Lord has not cast us off.
The children of Israel at long last delivered from captivity took the occasion to laugh, as shown in Psalms 126:2 “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” This type of laughter is much deeper than the raucous laughter at a joke or the uncertain laughter as when someone falls on the ice. It is the laughter of the joy of the moment, a laughter filled with thankfulness for what God has done and is doing. If we take Romans 8:28 seriously we will spend an enormous amount of time laughing our silly heads off, instead of wringing our hands in anxiety. Sometimes laughter is so deep in meaning to us that we actually shed tears while laughing, until and often after our sides hurt.
Moses put it this way concerning God’s promise and making good on the promise to barren Sarah, Genesis 21:6 “And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.” Isaac was born to Sarah when she was 91 years old. For all practical purposes this part of her life was long over, yet here she was as thrilled as a 20 year old mother of our day. God’s wonder working in our life is enough to make us laugh with near uncontrollable joy. The thought that friends will join in the joyous laughter brings on another spell of the expression of joy.
Barbara Johnson, one of the Ladies of Faith said, “Humor is the chocolate chips in the ice cream of life.”
I could not have said it better.
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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