Sometimes the weight of the world feels as if it rests directly on my shoulders. I'm a burden-bearer by nature, so it only stands to reason that whatever happens to ail this poor, old world of ours, ails me, too.
I anguish in prayer over Ukraine, I pray for a change of heart for Putin, I grieve deeply over the young girls stolen from their family's and forced to relinquish their faith in Nigeria. My heart breaks for the tens of thousands of folks flooded out of their homes in Serbia.
I am awakened at night over the state of affairs in our country. All the violence. The perversion. And the impact our adult decisions are having on our children.
And then there are all the wounds that my friends and family are struggling to contend with in their lives. Loss of loved ones. Loss of income. Loss of health. Loss of mind.
When I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, it takes it's toll. My demeanor changes. It can even affect my outlook on life.
Yes! We are called to bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2), but, my problem begins when I don't leave those burdens in prayer at the feet of Jesus, or allow them to move me to action and compassion.
When I allow them, instead, to weigh my heart down, they have power over me... robbing me of hope... of peace... of joy... and of laughter.
The Bible tells us that, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." (Proverbs 17:22) The Message says it this way: "A cheerful dispostion is good for your health!" And might I add, your demeanor and outlook on life, as well?
I spent some time today scouring the internet regarding this biblical claim and found websites galore, from Mayoclinic.org to the Discovery Channel that attest to the fact that a cheerful heart... laughter... is indeed good medicine! But, that wasn't all I found. I found quotes that I am going to print out and place around the house as a reminder of the truth of God's word.
Herman Melville: I know not all that may be coming, but, be that as it may, I'll go to it laughing.
Martin Luther: You have as much laughter as you have faith!
Anne Lammot: Laughter is carbonated holiness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart.
Mark Twain: The human race has only one really effective weapon - that is laughter.
Sean O'Casey: Laughter is wine for the soul - laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness - the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.
If you, my friend, are walking a dark path, weighed down by the cares of life or the world, don't let them have power over you. Don't let them rob you of sleep... of hope... of peace... of joy... or of laughter. It is good medicine for the soul!
There will be laughter and songs of thanks...
Thanksgiving will pour out of the windows; laughter will spill through the doors...
I love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
I love to laugh
So everybody can hear
The more I laugh, the more I'm filled with glee
And the more the glee
The more I'm a merrier me.
Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman
This is a good word, Julie. You linked up ahead of me at A Holy Experience, I think, this week. (I closed the linky lists yesterday but couldn't actually read my neighbors' posts until today.) Like you, I can easily lose sleep over others' sorrows as well as my own, and I am learning how much laughter helps me, even when I can't tell it's improving my health problems. If nothing else, it helps me cope and brightens my countenance for those around me. Thank you for the reminder and permission to rejoice in God even in the midst of brokenness. Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus.