“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
A few things in life are absolutely tragic. Some things are mysteriously strange. Many, however, are just plain funny. There isn’t a day that passes in which I fail to see, hear, or read something that makes me smile. And because laughter is such effective therapy, I’m grateful that God dispenses this divine medication so frequently.
For instance, rules and statutes aren’t meant to be amusing . . . but sometimes they are. Some examples?
- In Danville, Pennsylvania, fire hydrants must be checked one hour before all fires.
- Oklahoma law requires that drivers involved in fatal accidents stop immediately and give their names and addresses to those who were struck.
- In Ohio, it is illegal to fish for whales on Sunday.
- In Thailand, it is illegal to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear.
Religious stuff can also get a few chuckles out of me. Occasionally I have had to bite my lip during a service to keep from erupting in laughter. I also find a host of funny material in Scripture.
“Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger.”—Deuteronomy 14:21
“My breath is strange to my wife.”—Job 19:17
“And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field.”—Genesis 27:27
God did not author a colorless, dry, or boring book. He is the one, you’ll recall, who led Solomon to pen Proverbs 17:22.
I am convinced that few weapons are more important in fighting discouragement, depression, and difficulty than a good sense of humor. A deep-down, in-your-heart joy eases the overwhelming burdens of this life. It seems that even in our darkest moments, when our hearts are broken and our spirits crushed, a touch of appropriate humor can help lighten our load and enhance the restoration process.
I like the way one old preacher concluded his prayer, “And, Lord, keep me cheerful. Keep me from becoming a cranky, old man!”