Three men were hiking through a forest when they came upon a large, raging, violent river. Needing to get to the other side, the first man prayed, “God, please give me the strength to cross the river.” Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs. He was able to swim across in about two hours, having almost drowned twice.
After witnessing that, the second man prayed, “God, please give me strength and the tools to cross the river.” Poof! God gave him a rowboat, strong arms, and strong legs. He was able to row across in about an hour after almost capsizing once.
Seeing what happened to the first two men, the third man prayed, “God, please give me the strength, the tools and the intelligence to cross this river.” Poof! He was turned into a woman. She checked the map, hiked one hundred yards up stream and walked across the bridge.
I start off today with a little laugh. As I have stated in reflections before, humour is an important gift from God to lighten our load, stimulate our thinking and even affect our health in a positive fashion. I grew up in a family that loved to laugh and married into a family that loved humour. In quiet moments, I often reflect on some of the fun times I have had with family and how laughter and humour empowered us through challenging times. It is so fascinating to watch our granddaughter and see the distinct sense of humour she has. I think she is, and is going to be, a real card. I celebrate that!
The Bible says that there is “A time to weep and a time to laugh.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4 ESV) The Bible also states that "a cheerful heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:15 ESV) In other words, as much as possible, we need to focus on the celebration of joy that light-heartedness brings. Proverbs 6:2 (ESV) declares, “Gracious words are like honey comb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” The “Gracious Words” of humour, at appropriate times, and in appropriate places, bring healing, wisdom, joy, hope, inspiration, motivation, courage and a whole lot more to our human dynamic. The psalmist counsels us, “This is the day that the Lord has made let us be glad and rejoice in it,” (Psalm 118:24 ESV) Part of that process unfolds through God’s gracious gift of humour.
I close with a quote from an author in Christianity Today, who I think is on to something. She states, “How can we his creatures think things are funny unless the whole idea came from God in the first place? I've never heard a sermon about God's sense of humour. Nor have I read a theology book that lists God's laughter as one of his immutable characteristics. But I think it is. And unless we see that side of God, I'm not sure we'll totally appreciate him.”
My friends, in your time and your own way, celebrate this day the joy of humour and laughter. Let it lighten your load, fill you with grace and lift up your soul. And, by the way guys, as the opening joke implies, listen to the many wise women around us!
God loves you and so do I! Have a great day – Pastor Ralph