Few things equal the pleasure of just laughing out loud. When I get together with old friends and the stories start, so does the laughter. Our dumb choices, our silly kid tricks, our shared bumps and bruises are fertile soil for humor. We all love being in on the joke, laughing with each other. Ever been laughed at, feeling the stab of being made a fool, the joke way too close to reality for you to find any reason to laugh? Me, too! Sometimes those are moments of cruelty; sometimes they result from another’s insensitivity.
Our Lord loves to hear us laugh; delighted by the wonders of His work and the depth of His love! One of the great myths of spirituality is that it demands a long face. Yes, in our discipleship there are times of deep sorrow, moments when we feel the weight of sin – in ourselves or in the world in which we live – and we weep, broken and mourning. Let us not forget that part of our heritage in the Lord is JOY. “You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 63:5-7, NLT) On this Monday morning, I urge you to look around for joy. Let it find you in a song, touch you from the depths as you recall a moment of God’s faithfulness, surprise you from an unexpected place. Laugh with God!
Don’t become a cynic who laughs at Him! Sarah was an old, old woman so far beyond child-bearing years that she had given up all hope of having the child God promised to Abraham and to her. In fact, she had (in the custom of the time) had her maid become her surrogate with Abraham, resulting in the birth of Ishmael. But, he was not the ‘promised son.’ One day visitors came by their tent. Unaware that they were supernatural beings, she listened in. How did she respond to what she heard? “Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:10-14, NLT) Her laughter was an expression of disbelief, something too good to even hope for anymore.
But, God was faithful to His word in spite of her. Later, she had opportunity to laugh with God! “She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. And Abraham named their son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!” (Genesis 21:1-7, NLT)
Do feel the stirring of the Spirit, the outlines of a promise taking shape in you? How will you respond? Will you laugh at God, dismissing His inspiration as something other than what it is? Or, will you laugh with Him, celebrating His work in you, even in apparently impossible situations?
Here is a word from the Word. I hope it is your declaration for this day. “Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.” (Psalm 28:6-8, NIV)
JOY – (listen on YouTube)
There is beauty in my brokenness,
I’ve got true love instead of pain.
There is freedom though you’ve captured me,
I’ve got joy instead of mourning.
You give me joy down deep in my soul,
Down deep in my soul,
Down deep in my soul!
In your presence there is freedom
In your presence there is fullness
In your presence there is joy
There is joy forevermore
Never been so free
Caught in your love for me
Never been more secure
Knowing your heart, Lord
- Copyright, HouseFires