What If God Loves Your Laugh?

photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

I shut the door of my car and safe in that space, I cry the ugly cry. The mascara-smearing-nose-running-people-at-stoplights-are-staring cry. When I get home, I text a wise friend who knows me well. “It will be okay,” she reassures me, “Come out to dinner with us.”

The promise of food lures me out from my house again like a bear from her cave. Then the unexpected happens. We start telling stories about the embarrassing moments in our lives {I have plenty of those}. And for the second time that day, tears stream down my face.

But this time it’s because I’m doing the mascara-smearing-nose-running-people-at-other-tables-are-staring laugh.

Later that night I realized God graciously gave me exactly what I needed. Sometimes our hearts don’t need a sermon or a study. Sometimes they don’t need something “spiritual” at all. What they need is to laugh. I wrote this in my journal that night…

Laughter is a form of worship. It’s our soul’s way of saying, “I surrender to being human.”

God knows we are human. We’re the ones who tend to forget. Laughter is one way He reminds us. It changes our perspective, helps us move forward, opens up our hearts again. It’s “good medicine” for the heart {Prov. 17:22}.

Laughter that comes from a place of humility and grace is holy and healing.

We all need our daily dose–and sometimes a little extra.

XOXO

Holley

 

p.s. What has made you laugh the hardest lately?

Comments

  1. Gwen says

    I love laughter and I’m SO thankful that God has given it to us! There are times when I wish there was more of it. When I’m down, my husband’s goal is to bring back a smile :) I love the new look at laughter that you gave us – how it can “change our perspective.” I think it is what saves us from completely going under. I’m reminded of a quote by Erma Bombeck, “When humor goes, there goes civilization.”

  2. says

    Brooke: “Mom you have to make me a promise.”
    Me: “yes love, what’s that?”
    Brooke: “If I get bald on top but my hair stays long on the sides you have to promise that you’ll just shave it all off yourself…having cancer is bad enough…I don’t need to look like a creepy old man too.”

    ~Laughing in the Storm

  3. says

    Yes! Laughter is great medicine. It isn’t manufactured. It’s a true gift from God! Thanks for your inspiration! I’ve begun my God-sized dream with a blog. I have no idea what I’m doing, but God is using it to uplift others. That is always good.

  4. says

    I love laughters too. The other day, I had a bad fall on the black ice. My husband and I were going for our walk…and we knew it was icy. But this patch just looked like water. I flew up in the air. Not so funny at the time…but I was okay and we continued our walk despite my muddied yoga pants. You know when you fall, you feel so vulnerable, you don’t know whether to laugh of cry. Well it was a nice day, so I was determined to keep walking. Part of what spurred me on was recalling what the scene must’ve looked like. My poor husband freaking out, holding onto our dog, helpless to do anything but watch while I flew, legs and arms akimbo, and landed splayed out on the ice. Still makes me laugh…and makes me thankful that I am okay!!! You do have a way with words…

  5. Petra says

    What made me laugh? My supervisor has whippet (Missey), and because it’s been so cold recently when I lasted visited Missey was wearing her latest coat, a knitted green jumper! So sweet and sooooo funny!!

  6. Linda Johnson says

    I so enjoyed todays devotional, my day started out rough, still some things not the best but this devotional blessed me thank you for sharing and being real.

  7. Karen says

    Yesterday a friend told me my purpose in life must be to make people happy because I am so upbeat. I laughed and agreed it must be true. I love to laugh and most of the time that is what you will find me doing! But today when I read about laughter I sat and cried the “ugly cry” for the seond time today because today I feel defeated by an evil person. I know the Lord says the revenge is his and not mine so I need to let go and let God have his way. I just need to go back to my laughter and not let this person get me down any more today, tomorrow or the next day. Laughter is the best medicine. Thank you for the scripture reminding me of that!

  8. Michele-Lyn says

    You said it friend, maybe laughter is the most spiritual thing of all. When our lively six come together to pray, I’m always amazed how our prayer meeting turns into our most freeing, funniest times of the day. And God would have it be so. :) love this! I’m sharing :)

  9. says

    I just want to say, I love you, Holley Gerth. I thank Jesus for you. I recently purchased “You’re already amazing” and “God’s heart for you”. I’m so thankful for Jesus-women who are encouraging the truth about our identity in Christ, encouraging our true value and worth that is found only in Him. In a culture that is often confused (at best)–outright deceptive and destructive at worst– as to how to esteem the value and worth of the human being, it is soul-refreshing to have an author who can pinpoint, explain, and remind us of the soul-affirming truths about who God is and who we and the rest of creation are in relation to Him. Jesus Himself, self-proclaimed Living Water, reminding us all that nothing EVER satisfies except Himself; that ALL who are thirsty may freely come and drink of the Truth, the Way, and the Life. I don’t walk away from your books feeling condemned, yet I do walk away wanting to be even more changed by Truth and Love. This is the encouragement I see in your writing. God bless you. Grace and Peace.

    • says

      oh…and…great post on laughter!!! so, so true. hehe, hope my previous comment doesn’t come across too heavy for this particular blog-post; just really wanted to let you know.

  10. Karen says

    Laughter as an act of worship! What a revelation and reminder that we are human and yes, there will be tears and frustrations, but to be able to laugh and really surrender that human-ness to God is so freeing!

  11. LouAnne says

    I haven’t laughed in a very long time, and I pray that our Gracious God will restore laughter to my life soon. I am going through the hardest trial I have had to face in my 58 years. Laughter will be such a wonderful release, some day soon…please God. In the meantime, I will worship you through my tears. Amen.

    • LaRhonda says

      LouAnne and Bev, precious ones. I am 53 y/o and I know the tears as well. Laughter does not easily come to me. However, I can say that I know that God laughs with me when I do. I am quite sure He gets a chuckle out of me sometimes. Just know that He is with me puts a smile on my face. I do believe laughter will return to me. God loves you, please remember.

  12. Tamara L says

    Often I’ve thought if I didn’t laugh I’d cry. Sometimes as you’ve mentioned you do both simultaneously. You are right though … laughter is good for the soul. To be able to laugh at ourselves (or those embarrassing moments you mentioned) … even better. I think it is also a good point for starting over. To pick yourself up from those dark times, worries, anxious moments that stop us from moving forward. Laugh in the face of these … laugh because you want to cry … just recall a fond memory or that embarrassing moment and let yourself go.
    Thanks again Holley for the reminder of this most precious and inexpensive medicine!

  13. Karen E. L. says

    My favorite picture in my house is one of Yahshua, the Messiah,
    laughing. May be you have seen it. My sister, Marilyn, who
    loves to laugh and laugh and laugh first alerted me to this
    print, years ago,and I have it hanging in our entry way where
    it has touched many others’ lives too as they have come in for
    business. It is literally entitled, “Jesus Laughing.”
    And for eternity, after satan is trampled under~foot,
    permanently and cast into the lake of fire that burns forever,
    I think we are CONSTANTLY going to be laughing with
    our Savior, the Messiah, and Soon Returning King.
    Hallelu YAH! May He be praised as our Passover Lamb!
    Keep on laughing and sharing with us all, Holley! :)
    I sure love you and appreciate these messages and
    posting sites!

  14. karyn says

    Laughter is the best medicine. This is so true I’ve found. Every single day I laugh at so many things. E-mails mostly. We are all so funny. Just last night I looked on my wall it’s a girls’ wall. hahahahahahaha If you know me, you’d not think I’d be with the ladies as …. to learn to be good at my sport, you have to go with the guys to learn from them to be the best in the world. So I laughed and laughed and laughed as it’s a girls’ wall. hahahhahahaha Girls are so picky and emotions can change all of a sudden. It’s a good laugh. Where’s calm? It’s a good laugh. Since you’re asking me about what I’ve been laughing about today. I went to bed last night and my husband asked me why I was in hysterics. I told him about my girls’ wall. And Sara Mae’s post on Victoria Secret. I’m still laughing. I love Victoria Secret but not now cos we girls have to stick together and be treated as good matter in this earth. Not … the way it’s put in that article. So I laughed out loud for about fifteen minutes. I love to laugh. Actually, I need to laugh. I can laugh and cry at the same time. I’m told by my husband I look silly. hahahahaha Yeah, I tickle my husband as he needs to laugh more. So, we play tickle. It’s fun for me seeing him laugh. Hope this helps. I’m not being silly. This is really me. hahahahaha A grandmother at this. Have a lovely day in Christ JESUS our LORD. HE is our laughter. The joy of the LORD is our strength.

  15. Beth Horvath says

    OmiGod! isn’t this the truth! You nailed it, my friend. I am known as a serious potato with a raucous sense of humor…however, I was blesses with a family who consistently makes me laugh because they know that I take things to heart and wear it on my sleeve, to quote a worn adage. Once again, God provides what we need to see us through. Thnaks so much for this thoughtful post today. I’ll be thinking of you in church Sunday when I’m waving my palms. Happy Easter to you and yours!

  16. says

    So so true…So glad you were able to experience that kind of laughing with your friend…and I am always grateful for friends, my hubby, our girl, and our puppy for helping me to laugh at life and myself :) Blessed weekend to you, Holley :)

  17. Gramma T says

    About 4 months after the sudden death of my husband a dear friend told me what I needed was a night of laughter. It is good for the soul she said. Well I finally agreed after much pleading, and it was so true. God gave me a friend (My husband Ron) that has been a gift to our family. And he could make me laugh amongst my tears of grief and sorrow. How was I to know that he was the man to pick up the pieces and lead my family in the journey we have been on for 24 years since that sad day. God truly turned my sadness into joy! And he still can make me laugh. We are growing old together with tears and laughter. Love it!!

  18. carol says

    On Tuesday at our Joy Fellowship for handicapped adults, one man offered to be my pallbearer. My first offer for that and I had a great laugh. Who knows how soon I will need that?

  19. Joanne says

    I truly enjoy your story. i love laughing it helps my soul to heal. There are days I cry nonstop but when I am finish I can laugh with a strong laugh. Keep up with the stories. God bless.

  20. says

    I love the spur of the moment laughter that happens at home when something my husband or I say comes out, and we burst out laughing; and I like that I can laugh about things that are connected with my illness or things that used to make me feel sad. It’s a different kind of laughter, but knowing I can smile about something, like saying, “Oh my, I did that again?”, is better than feeling sad or angry. It’s kind of like laughing with a toddler that is wobbly on their feet, but they are so cute–and they can laugh about things too. You are right. It is that realization we are human, and it is OK to be human. I think God is laughing with us too, when we are able to do the same.

  21. Jeanine says

    A great reminder! Why do we try so hard to not look ‘dippy’ to others, when laughter is so freeing?
    Thanks, Holley, this is good to keep in mind!

  22. says

    “Today, Zachary and I laughed and laughed.

    After many weeks of tears…flowing like a river…..it was our time…..to laugh.

    Okay…..at the expense of it seeming that our sense of humor is greatly warped,
    I will explain why.

    I was walking in the yard, right next to the pool where Zachary was swimming, when I stepped into a hole dug by our rambunctious dogs,
    and you guessed it.
    Down I went!

    On my way down, I grabbed for a nearby lawn chair…the closest, stabilizing object I could get my hands on.
    Resting on the chair, were several of Zachary’s action figures,
    a tin that he keeps them in,
    the phone,
    and my glasses.

    As you can very well imagine,
    when I grabbed the chair,
    it went down, too,
    and everything on it went reeling…flying through the air,
    glasses and all.

    At first, I heard Zachary praying.
    It scared him.
    “Oh, dear Lord, have mercy.
    Lord, help her.”
    He couldn’t see me from where he was splashing in the pool.
    All he had witnessed was the unsightly scene of my arms and legs flailing this way and that…in opposite directions…grasping desperately for something to break the fall.

    When he reached the side and peered over to where I was, I looked at him…
    from my sprawling, unbecoming position, I might add….
    and we both burst into uncontrollable laughter.

    We have laughed about it many times since.
    As we were relaying the story to his Daddy, we had to laugh again.
    It was just downright funny.

    It feels good to laugh.
    To smile.
    To experience the emotion of happiness.

    Even more so, when you haven’t done that in a while.

    And even though, at the end of the laughter, our hearts still ache,
    we are finding more and more opportunities to laugh.
    And we are seizing those chances…with all our might.

    Solomon understood this emotion when he spoke these words recorded in Proverbs 14:13 (KJV),

    “Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.”
    (Emphasis mine.)

    I’m glad the initial shock of grief is over.
    Though I still find myself back at square one…..in that stage now and then,
    God is helping me.
    When I find myself there these days, I recover a bit more quickly …
    than I did in the beginning.

    Thank God, we can all find reasons to smile….and laugh until our sides hurt.
    Even if it does take me tripping clumsily, in the most ungracious, unladylike of ways.
    I’m glad I fell.
    Thankful for the misbehaving dogs who dug the hole…
    ’cause it was absolutely worth the trip.”
    From Homespun Devotions ~ 6/25/2012

  23. Lucille says

    Thank you Holley for sharing. Yes, we all need to laugh more. The thing that has made me laugh lately was seeing Tim Conway on James Robison that was taped six years ago on his program. So funny! I laugh everytime I see it because it’s what I need more than anything else right now, besides Jesus.
    Bless you and love you much!

  24. says

    Recently I’ve been laughing at the unexpected ways that God reminds me of how my story is tied to His much bigger story. Verses in my quiet time completely relate to my situation in life in the funniest ways, and I’ve spent quite a few moments just laughing with God at how my story has unfolded.

  25. says

    I love your website ,,,, very imformative. I like the message of God Loves Your Laugh, it touched my heart…. Keep up the good work.. Praise God!!! GBU…

  26. Becky Jones says

    I have gone through a lot of those ugly cries because life has been good to me but at times I feel like it is not. But all I have to do is look at my Savior and know that He is right there with me. Have had a lot of times of laughter in my life and glad to hear that it is a gift from God. Thanks for you work.
    Becky

  27. Lindia Lentz says

    It wasn’t recently, but I’ll never forget one of the times God made me laugh out loud. I was driving on an expressway and missed my exit. I was whining to myself that now it would take me longer to get home…..blah blah blah…….and less than a mile down the road there was a billboard that said, “Are you on the right road??” —God

    Of course I was on the right road! I wouldn’t have gotten His message if I hadn’t been!

    God bless you Holley!

  28. says

    So True! Thanks for this great reminder. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously. My grandsons antics make me laugh. I’m still chuckling over things which happened last week. Who needs TV when you’ve got children to amuse you?!

  29. Anita says

    2 days back I was in a fit of laughter with a friend at a hilarious joke in the Christian movie ‘Fireproof’. It was nice to see my young friend, who had been feeling low lately, forget all about her sadness and brimming with joy. We all need joy and fun everyday; our joyful God loves to see us smile. “The joy of the Lord is my strength”. Joy is a fruit of the spirit He expects from us. God bless you Holley for your happy post.

  30. says

    Joy has often been an elusive emotion in life, it is something I often think I have to work hard for. It was in a time of deep study that His Word broke through in my life and taught me something about Joy. Psalm 16:11- There is Joy in the presence of the Lord. He reminded me I didn’t have to work for joy, but just call out His name and rest in Him. The joy I could en-joy was waiting for me as an appointment with the Lord is always clearly set aside for me as His daughter. In those times when I realize His love is always more than enough to meet me in my need, it is then I can hear His laughter enterwined with my own.
    Thanks for your heart-felt transparency; your gift to encourage is an endearing blessing.

    Blessings!!
    Dawn

  31. Marty says

    Oh, do I love to laugh. i provide my own entertainment with my numerous embarrassing moments. One of my many moments is the time my family and I were enjoying a dinner at our favorite local diner. My son’s water glass was about to topple so I immediately tried to grab it which, in turn, caused my own glass to topple. With my free hand I tried to grab my water glass causing my daughter’s glass to fly. All said and done water landed in each of our laps and we all laughed and my husband looked at me cross-eyed. ;o).

    My children have always brought much laughter to me. This is a very old story (say 20 years old! :o) ) . My four year old son (at the time) and I were at the beach resting on our towels. He looked out on to the water and saw a school of fish skimming the surface of the ocean.
    Son: What’s that mommy?
    Me: A school of fish hon.
    Son. It must be an aerobics class.
    :o)

    Blessings to you Holly and your beautiful, child-like faith and inspiration to us all.

  32. Betty says

    Holley.
    I loved your laughter story.
    Just the other day some one I knew came up to me because she heard my laughter . What a nice surprised as I had not seen her for years.
    I am a laughter person . When I play volley ball with a bunch of friends in the pool if I start to laugh about some thing before you know it every one is laughing .I tell them how good it is as it brings good healing endorphins to our bodies.

    When People tell me I have a nice smile and laugh I always tell them it is my gift from God.
    What a blessing for me . Thank you Holley Keep on laughing even through hard times . God does love us . hugs Betty

  33. Jeanne Bowser says

    Today I got to laugh with my daughter and her boyfriend. It was a joy to be with them at Sea World. It was a treat for my 59th birthday!:)

  34. says

    We watched the movie Pitch Perfect the other night and my family decided to learn the “cup song” from the movie. Takes much coordination. My hubby joined in and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at them trying to keep the tempo together! We made a video and have laughed so hard at ourselves we couldn’t breathe. Laughter is indeed the best medicine!

  35. says

    We have had a few days of laughter and tears! On Friday we went to Stations of the Cross–I always cry, but this time I noticed my kids visibly upset as well–they got it. Those moments to stop and be in the moment of the Passion was very powerful. Our collective sorrow, brought us together in a different way.

    Then we had the entire weekend together as a family–no games, no practices, no work–just breakfast, lunch, dinner together, spontaneous dog piles (where one person lays on the ground and calls out “dog pile” and everyone runs and jumps on them), random concerts, and so much laughing! The kids were so funny together AND enjoyed each other. This is our Spring Break–my prayer is that we can have a week of random joyfulness.

    Be Blessed.

  36. says

    I posted something on laughter, almost the same day as yourself; a friend sent me the link with a comment: ‘interesting coincidence?’ You can say that again!
    More than ever, I believe God wants us to laugh! Probably preparing us for something too.
    Thanks for the post. With your permission, I shall reblog.

  37. Cindy says

    Hi, Holley: I was slow in getting to read this, but I am so glad I read it. I really like your statements: “Laughter is a form of worship. It’s our soul’s way of saying, “I surrender to being human.”

    God knows we are human. We’re the ones who tend to forget. Laughter is one way He reminds us. It changes our perspective, helps us move forward, opens up our hearts again. It’s “good medicine” for the heart {Prov. 17:22}.

    Laughter that comes from a place of humility and grace is holy and healing.” Praise God!

    I so like to laugh, but don’t seem to do it much anymore. It is so refreshing when I do laugh. Thank you for sharing this. God bless you richly!

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