“Gentlemen, why do you not laugh? With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.” Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln lost his mother at age nine, his only sister at age 18, one child, Eddie, before he became the 16th president of our country, and his twelve-year-old son, Willie, while in the White House. His wife suffered from severe depression, and his beloved country was on the verge of complete destruction due to division almost from the start of his presidency. Yet Lincoln knew the benefits of laughter: not from knowledge found in books, or from a learned doctor’s words, but from his own experiences in dealing with life’s pain. What he didn’t know was how laughter did its work; he only knew that there was always something to laugh about!
God designed our bodies for laughter–a true medicine! Laughter boosts our oxygen intake which stimulates our heart and lungs; it helps our tense muscles relax and increases our circulation. Laughter is an immune-booster, helping to prevent colds and respiratory viruses. A good chuckle helps our bodies to release natural painkillers. Did you know that laughter can even help increase our body’s own tumor-fighting cells?
Laughter is encouraged in God’s Word to us:
It is a life-force in our physical beings…
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
It comes from God and brings joy with it…
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21
It often follows a thankful heart towards God and His blessings …
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2
Laughter will not cure every pain and sorrow of life, but it will bring us calm, joy, and a better view of our circumstances when we partake. Take time today to find a reason–there’s always something to laugh about!
Laughter and joy are gifts from God. Have you laughed today? Considering the health benefits of laughter, what can you do to sharpen your sense of humor and start laughing more?
New International Version, www.biblegateway.com