The more I laugh the more I am convinced this is true. As Internationally-known author and humorist Steve Bhaerman said, “Humor has great power to heal on an emotional level. You can’t hold anger, you can’t hold fear, you can’t hold hurt while you’re laughing.”
Even the worst situations can be lightened by having a good sense of humor. I am reminded of the words of American humorist Jack Handey who wrote, “If you’re robbing a bank and your pants fall down, I think it’s okay to laugh and to let the hostages laugh too, because, come on, life is funny.”
Life just seems more amusing when we take a moment to look for the funny. Creation, for example, is full of humorous things. Who can resist laughing at the playful antics of kittens and puppies or baby monkeys tumbling over each other in their playful hijinks?
I once saw a squirrel fall off a telephone wire and land safely on the ground. He zoomed up a tree, sat on a branch and started fussing! I laughed, imagining his ranting was about leaving for Florida since it sounded like heated chatter about the sun and the beach.
Of course, not all people laugh at the same things. It seems culture, personality, background, mood and timing play a role in what’s funny. One study on humor found that couples who agree on what is funny are more prone to like, love and want to marry each other than those whose humor were less alike.
People with a good sense of humor are said to be healthier, happier, more creative, less rigid and more open to new ideas. Humor can also indicate one’s values, intelligence, interest and maturity.
Proverbs 14:13 confirms that humor can even serve to mask pain, saying, “Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful.” Who hasn’t laughed on occasion when they really wanted to cry?
Since laughter can be therapeutic and has several health benefits, it appears that most rational people will find a way to inject humor into their lives. Don’t you?
Author Clive James wrote, “Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.” If that is true, shouldn’t we all look for that lighter side to life?
This leads me to the most obvious question: Does God have a sense of humor? Since we are made in His image and Galatians 5:22 says joy is a fruit of the Spirit, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the Almighty has a sense of humor?
We see evidence of God’s humor in creation, the playful antics of kittens, puppies and other creatures of creation. But does the Bible hint that God has a sense of humor? I refer to 1 Samuel 19:19-24 for your consideration.
First, try to see the big picture. King Saul was trying to capture David who had fled to a city where the prophet Samuel was. Verse 20 says Saul sent messengers to take David. But something unusual happened to them and they did not return.
Saul sent a second team after David. The same unusual thing happened and they did not return. He sent a third team who also experienced this odd occurrence and never returned.
Finally, Saul himself went to find out what happened and it happened to him, allowing David to escape his enemies, according to 1Samuel 20:1.
The way God chose to deliver David from Saul and his messengers might be viewed as humorous if we can comprehend what the Hebrew word “Naba” means in the context of this account.
While many Bible translations interpret “Naba” to say Saul and his messengers began to “prophesy,” The Holy Bible, Easy-to-Read Version, says in its footnote regarding this incident, “Prophesying. Usually, this means ‘Speaking for God.’ But here this also means that the Spirit of God took control of the person and caused him to sing and dance.”
The New English Bible says it caused a “prophetic rapture” (or state of euphoria) to come upon Saul and his men.
The New American Standard Version, in its lexical aids to the old testament, said “Naba” means “To prophesy, to be inspired, to play the madman, to act as if one is insane through agitated spasmodic movements.” You decide what definition best fits that account.
Whatever happened, it is clear that God’s Spirit operated toward David’s enemies in such a way that they completely forgot the purpose of their mission. No one got hurt and David got away. So who got the last laugh?
Watching the King strip off his clothes and lay down naked until David escaped safely may have been a hilarious sight. Can you imagine the conversation Saul and his men had afterwards? Can you imagine the snikers? This must have been the talk of that town!
The God of wholesome humor wants everyone to experience laughter and joy. As Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, there is “a time to laugh.” So laugh it up!
*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.