The cure for what ails youby Eddie Thompson
Not long ago, my wife and I were leading a pastor and wife marriage event and having a great time when a comment from one of the couples in attendance made me cringe. On the first night of the event I showed a video from Christian comedian Anita Renfro. It was hysterical and outrageously funny. You would have to be dead not to laugh (That’s how we test pastors to see if they are still alive.). At the end of the three day event, the pastor and his wife thanked me for the time we had together. The pastor said, “We’ve had a great time and learned a lot. But honestly, until this weekend, we can’t remember laughing in over a year.” Just let that sink in for a moment.
Laughter – just try to explain its power and effect on people. Oddly enough, when I ask women what drew them to their husbands, most of the time the response is, “It was his sense of humor. He made me laugh!”
There’s something powerful about laughter. The Bible says it’s like medicine – good for what ails you. It has the power to heal and connect people like little else, but if life becomes heavy and overburdened, there may be little to laugh about. I should know. Some years ago when I was serving as pastor, I worked to the tune of about 70 hours a week for 5 years. Little did I know how fatigued I was and how close I was to a dangerous burnout. My wake-up call came one day in the car when my wife blurted out, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but you never laugh anymore.” How sad! We had spent many years together laughing. We laughed at our kids, funny church situations, movies, goofy people, life situations, our pets, anything. But it was all gone. Everything in life just seemed too heavy. I’m not sure if I even knew how to laugh anymore. Eventually I was forced to slow down and change how much I was working. I gradually built some much needed boundaries and incorporated margin into my life. Eventually my laughter returned and life was whole again.
How about you? When did you laugh last? Remember, life isn’t all about work or ministry. Perhaps if your marriage has gone stale and you find yourself grinding it out day by day, try a little laughter. It may be just what the Great Physician ordered.
A merry heart does good, like medicine... (Prov. 17:22, NKJV)