One phase in Ecclesiastes 3:4 says "there is a time to laugh." Have you ever thought about that? God has ordained "seasons" in our lives--a time to sow and a time to reap, a time to mourn and a time to dance, etc. Sometimes it seems as if all the seasons come at once and they're pretty lopsided; skewed toward the difficulties, not the blessings.

May I offer a suggestion? Don't WAIT to laugh, choose to laugh. Do it as much as possible. Get used to it. Make it a part of your daily routine. If you're married, find things to laugh about together; in fact, create them. We should laugh in the workplace, we should laugh at home, and we should laugh at church.

I've been in ministry now for 43 years. I've seen a lot of sadness and walked with people experiencing horrific pain, suffering, and regret. But I've never known anyone to regret laughter. I've never heard someone say, "I laughed way too much over the years."

If you have children may I suggest that the best thing you can do as a parent is laugh with your kids. Never laugh at them, but make laughing with them part of your daily routine. If there is no joy in your home, it may be because you don't laugh enough together...and maybe, it starts with you.

There are times to laugh; that's what the Bible says. Problem is, we don't look for them or create them; we sit on the sidelines and wait for them to come. Stop waiting. Start today. When you start looking, you'll find humor everywhere. You'll also find joy.

Jesus, man of sorrows, was also a man of laughter. One particular area of humor for him was exaggeration. People in the first century laughed at hyperbole and embellishment. D. Elton Trueblood, the famed Bible scholar, suggests that Jesus' audience must've laughed out loud when he talks about "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel,'' or "taking a speck out of someone's eye while ignoring the log that was sticking out of your eye," or a "camel trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle."

I imagine Jesus sitting with His disciples around a campfire and telling some pretty funny stories. You can't be in ministry without experiencing a boatload of them. I visited a woman once; we'll call her Gladys, and she was terminally ill. The family wanted me to pray for her. When I knocked on the door, the dog started barking. I heard someone on the other side of the door saying, "Shut up Gladys, go to your bed NOW!" The dog kept barking and I heard, "If you don't stop, we'll put you in the basement."

I was perplexed. Who would talk so cruelly to a dying loved one? Well, finally the door opened and a family member took me to the bedroom to pray for Gladys. As I began to pray, someone said, "Wait a minute," Gladys go back to your bed." I suddenly realized they'd named the family dog "Gladys" too. I almost lost it in the prayer; and when I got back in the car I called a friend and told them what happened and we both laughed till we cried."

Both Glady's are gone now, but months later I ran into one of the family members, a sister, and in passing, asked why they gave the dog the same name as the sister. "Oh, Gladys just thought it would be a lot of fun, so we went with it."

In my view, Gladys was a saint. She knew the value of laughter. I bet she told Jesus that story as soon as she stepped through the pearly gates. And it wouldn't surprise me at all if both Glady's sleep in the same room in their heavenly home--one ON the bed, the other UNDER it!

Life is hard, friends. Laugh it off. Start today. Have fun. Gladys would tell you to do the same thing. She laughed all the way Home.

By the way, check out these short videos. You can thank me later!

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