Column: "One Layman's Outlook": Laughter: stop and smell the humor
by Larry Elkins
The other weekend during praise and worship we were singing. Our praise leader lets the congregation know the next verse of a song by saying the first few words before the verse starts. The song we were singing says, "There's no God like Jehovah." That's right, our song leader told us, "There's no God."
I couldn't help but laugh. I started thinking about the humorous situations God often puts us in.
One time, back in Arkadelphia, the choir was practicing and having a difficult time hitting the last note in a line, which said, "He has broken the power of satan." I'll never forget the look on the pastor's face when he walked in the sanctuary with the entire choir chanting "sa-tan, sa-tan." If that's not funny enough, the same thing happened on a different song after we moved up here.
On our way to Pine Bluff for my wife's grandfather's 90th birthday party, we passed a car on the freeway through Little Rock. The car was pulling a small trailer full of sod, you know, layers of grass and dirt. Cindy smiled and said, " He must have just come from a yard sale."
My children have just discovered "Mr. Ed." When that horse talks my son almost falls out of his chair laughing. This is one of the TV shows made back when writers actually wrote comedy.
Proverbs 17:22 (King James Version) say, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
Humor is a blessing from God. Like all blessings, if you don't actually experience it, then it just becomes a story that happened to someone else.
God gives us blessings to help us in our journey through life. Imagine someone walking on a road. God blesses him with a fruit tree. The person stops, eats some fruit, picks more, eats it, sits down and waits until he's hungry again.
He's not getting very far on his journey. Maybe he doesn't trust God for another blessing down the road. Maybe he didn't realize it was for his journey. Maybe he built a fruit stand.
Ask yourself, what are you doing with God's blessings. Are you furthering His kingdom? Are you continuing your journey to get closer to God or do you "consume it upon your lusts." James 4:3
The blessing of humor can be used to make jokes, so that people think you're smart and funny, or it can be used to illustrate and teach the Word of God.
I believe God has a great sense of humor.
In 1 Samuel chapter 5, when the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant, of all the things God could have done to them, He cursed them with mice and with emerods in their secret parts. An old medical dictionary my parents had defined emerods as hemorrhoids.
The Philistine wise men told them to return "the ark of the Lord upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods," 1 Samuel 6:11. Can you imagine what the Israelite people thought when they found that cart?
Then there was the time a donkey preached to the prophet Balaam.
I think the story of Simeon and Levi defeating the city of Shechem in Genesis 34 is very funny. They talked the men of Shechem into being circumcised as a condition for their king's son's marriage to a Hebrew girl. Then when the men of the city were too sore to move, Simeon and Levi defeated the entire town.
As I said humor is a gift and a blessing. Luke 6:21(KJV) says, "... Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh."
On your journey you should stop and smell the humor. God put it there to bless you. Psalms 126:2 reads, "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."
That sounds like a great chance to witness for God. Everyone loves to laugh. Let everyone know the source of your humor. Revelation 4:11, says, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
God created it and He has pleasure in it. Enjoy.