A month ago my days were relatively quiet and peaceful. Now, not so much. Naturally a slow riser, I like to lay awake in bed and let the sun get up first. But now, the sun and I whisper a sleepy “good morning” to each other as I scoop poop off the wet morning grass.
Additional cheery wishes for the new day arrive from my kind neighbors, silently bearing witness to my unkempt state, as I return to the front yard, almost hourly throughout the morning, to administer potty training lessons. My arms and ankles display a battlefield of scars from a sweet baby who was blessedly born with a mouthful of shark teeth. Demands for food, toys, and attention often take me by surprise as they are delivered by a high-pitched yelping dictator.
I have a new puppy named Louie. It is humbling. It is humorous. And, I am fairly certain God is laughing with me.
Does God have a Sense of Humor?
Have you ever wondered if God has a sense of humor? The Bible says we are made in his image (Genesis 1:27), so the simple fact that we love to laugh leads me to believe he does too.
Recently, I learned some people question whether Jesus, our example of God in the flesh, ever laughed. Although there is no verse in the Bible stating “Jesus laughed”, there are many which lead us to conclude he did.
For example, in Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus teaches us not to judge others through an amusing exaggeration. He says we should pay attention to the log in our own eye (the changes we need to make) instead of the speck in our brother’s eye (pointing out the faults of others).
And, many Scriptures speak to how much Jesus enjoyed spending time with children. Don’t children love to laugh and seek adults who will share laughter with them? He enjoyed children even though the culture at that time often regarded them as a bother.
Jesus embodied all the attributes of God, and he also shared the emotions of being human. If he could feel what we feel, then laughter must have been part of his life as well.
Lately, as God and I have shared new puppy joys and frustrations, I have thought about the benefits of laughter. Why did God give us this gift? Are there Scriptures that reference laughter? What do they teach us? Here are some benefits of laughter I am learning from:
Laughter Unites Us
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6 NIV
Sarah was ninety years old when God told her she would finally have a child of her own. Understandably, she had trouble believing God could work such a miracle through her. Her long-awaited son was named Isaac which means “he laughs”. Isaac’s birth brought Sarah such surprising joy — a joy she was eager to share.
We may not be blessed with a baby after ninety years, but we are blessed daily with opportunities to find humor in life and to share it with others. Remember laughing until you cried with someone? And, how laughter like that quickly fills a room? We get to know each other better and build trusting relationships with one another through shared experiences, like laughter, which touch us emotionally. What a wonderful way to fulfill Jesus’ commandment (John 13:34-35) to love others. Laughter brings us together through joyful fellowship and celebration with others.
Laughter Restores Us
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22 NLT
We can lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation, reduce pain, fix relationships, ease anger, melt stress away, and relieve disappointment — all with a hearty belly laugh. Research shows the feel-good endorphins released through laughter improve health mentally, physically, and emotionally. Laughter unleashes a domino effect by improving all the systems throughout our bodies, and then spreading benefits contagiously to other people.
Laughter Sets Us Free
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 18:24
God is the master when it comes to perfect timing. During all seasons of life, he places people and situations in our path which diffuse tension and reignite joy. Laughter transports us away from our problems by delivering happiness in the present moment. When the mind takes a break from thinking and worry, the heart can trust in God.
How great it is to get a taste of trusting God completely like that. He wants us to live without worry and rejoice each day. Remembering he has a plan, and he works all things together for our good helps us live daily with joy. Laughter teaches us to embrace each day on the lookout for God’s cues to trust, rest, and enjoy life.
Laughter Fills Us With Gratitude
We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Psalm 126:2-3 NLT
When joy bubbles up and flows out of us through the sound of laughter it must be music to God’s ears. Like any caring parent, surely God wants us to feel carefree and content.
Moments of laughter showcase the love and the good surrounding us even in hard times. Our mood becomes lighter, and our hearts feel encouraged. Being mindful of those moments reassures us God is still in control. As believers, we know our story will have a joyous ending. Laughing interrupts the strain of this life, fills us with gratitude, and inches us ever closer to a fulfilling relationship with God.
Ultimately, since it is not spelled out for us, we can only guess at the reasons why God shares laughter with us. Sharing wholesome laughter clearly unites us and helps us love others. It restores us in terms of health and well-being. When we laugh, we live in the present moment, free from burdens, and trusting God. We are grateful for life and his love.
Are there other laughter benefits? I’m sure you can add to the list. Reading it over again actually makes me stop and think about everything we will gain in heaven. Do you see the similarities too? Heaven also unites us, restores us, frees us, and fills us with gratitude.
Maybe God gives us laughter to share a little bit of heaven with us here on earth? Questions, questions…someday we will know the answers. In the meantime, laughter is definitely a sound worth exploring.
Laugh! Press on in faith, my friends!
Share a Laugh with Me:
More of Louie on Instagram @cockapoodle_Lou
A Handful of Great Dog Quotes:
“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.” – Robert Wagner
“To err is human — to forgive, canine.” – Author Unknown
“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog does.” – Christopher Morley
“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” –Bernard Williams
“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” – Dean Koontz
“It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” – John Grogan
Got Questions: Did Jesus ever laugh?
Liz Curtis Higgs: Does God Laugh Out Loud?
Ignite Your Faith: Learning to Laugh with God
Got Questions: Does God have a sense of humor?