Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. Psalm 86:4
Elbert Hubbard, a US author (1856-1915) once quipped “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.” No one has to tell us that life is serious, but we do need to be reminded that life is also filled with joy. It is critical that we foster a sense of humor in a world that is full of sarcasm, negativity and just plain old grumpiness. Humor is not necessarily going to make your life longer but it sure will make the ride fun. Laughter is a universal form of communication. It can cross language barriers and carry people over many a bridge of sighs.
Somewhere between a baby’s first giggle and adulthood, we forget how to relax, smile, and embrace laughter. We’ve all been told at one time or another to “act your age.” Aging, however, does not mean we should become cynical, suspicious and naysaying. The Lord never intended for us to lose our sense of joy, wonder, and the excitement that comes from being fully alive in Him. Somewhere along the line, life tells us to trade in a smile for a frown, put a restraint on laughter and before we know it we are at risk of becoming ineffectual in our Christian witness. If we are telling others about the joy of the Lord they need to witness that joy firsthand through our example. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us, “the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Are you feeling weak? How is your joy meter?
In Jeremiah 31:13 our Lord points us back the source of our joy; The Lord God Himself. “I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Joy comes from that deep inner knowing that we are infinitely loved in Christ and because of this, we can express the lighter side of life and spread the beauty of laughter to those around us. Maybe the class clown with his Groucho Marx nose glasses was not so off the mark after all. Can you recall a time when you were trying not to laugh in a situation where it would be highly inappropriate to do so? Just thinking about that probably brought a smile to your face. Do you have the immeasurable joy of the Lord in your heart? Be sure your face knows it. Don’t be afraid to put on that clown nose. We can age successfully without becoming ancient. Life is a wonder to behold. Light-heartedness gives us eyes of wisdom, strength of character and is a testimony to the world of a Christian living in the joy of the Lord.
Father, thank You for placing Your joy within each one of us. Let our smile shared be a universal message of the grace, love, and joy that a new life in Christ brings. It is in Your Name we pray, Amen.