Pity the stuffy religious leader who wears frowns as a badge of maturity and looks down upon those who laugh as frivolous contenders for God’s eventual wrath. He has missed the divine engineering of our marvelous Creator, misused the ministry of role-modeling and will most likely die the premature death of one repressed instead of blessed. The human capacity to laugh is a God-given gift and for good reason.
Laughter reduces levels of certain stress hormones . . . It provides a safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones and the fight-or-flight compounds that swing into action in our bodies when we experience stress, anger or hostility. These stress hormones suppress the immune system, increase the number of blood platelets(which can cause obstructions in arteries) and raise blood pressure. When we're laughing, natural killer cells that destroy tumors and viruses increase, as do Gamma-interferon(a disease-fighting protein), T-cells,which are a major part of the immune response, and B-cells, which make disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also increases the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin A, which defends against infectious organisms entering through the respiratory tract . . . researchers estimate that laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. Laughing can be a total body workout! Blood pressure is lowered, and there is an increase in vascular blood flow and in oxygenation of the blood, which further assists healing. Laughter also gives your diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles a workout. That's why you often feel exhausted after a long bout of laughter—you've just had an aerobic workout!
Psalm 126:1,2--When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
A Multnomah Seminary professor was asked to officiate a baptismal ceremony in a small church. A large tub served as the immersion tank. Behind it was a white curtain hung to provide privacy for changing clothes. The elderly professor baptized a businessman and proceeded on to a large woman. Unfortunately as she went under the water he realized to his dismay that he was not strong enough to lift her up. The woman panicked and furiously began grasping for anything that would get her above the water. Her hands found the white curtain which in one desperate tear came down exposing the businessman naked before the incredulous congregation. The totally embarrassed man, seeing no place to hide, jumped in the tub with the woman. By now, the professor realizing something had to be done, asked the worship leader to lead the congregation in a final number. Can you guess what the last song was? Just As I Am!
Did the angels laugh at what can only be described as comical? Does God chuckle at the unintended mishaps of His children and join with us when we find humor in life? I imagine He does for laughter is the contagious remedy He created in us for our merriment and His glory.
Laughter and weeping are the two intensest forms of human emotion, and these profound wells of human emotion are to be consecrated to God.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
+Picture © 2005 Answers in GenesisMinistries International. www.AnswersinGenesis.org
*Alternative NIV translation