Growing up I always heard that God has a sense of humor, but that always made me wonder how His church services could be so boring. People would say things like, “Look at the duckbilled platypus. That’s so funny!” And I would think, “That’s not funny; that’s weird.” In spite of it all, I deduced in my adolescent mind that God was not actually funny, but He at least might appreciate some form of comedy.
I also heard how God changes our plans because of His sense of humor. Stories like, “When I first met my husband I hated him… buuuut God has a sense of humor because now we are married with three kids.” That one seems to be quite common.
The changing plan stories came up quite a bit. “I never wanted to do this for a living and swore I wouldn’t! Buuuuut God has a sense of humor!” After about the 900th “Buuuuut God has a sense of humor,” you can kind of start to think that God is a bit if a bully. You think, “All right man, can you let something work out as planned for once?”
Whether it’s God changing up our plans or not, the fact is that things rarely go as scheduled when it comes to our lives playing out like we think they should. It’s not that good plans never follow through or that preparation is pointless, but sometimes our plans just change. Most of the time you find out the changes were for the better. I know in my short life, there are many things I thought I wanted to do or be that I want nothing to do with now. Things change. No one likes change at first, but as we look back we can see the benefits of the changes.
So does God really have a sense of humor? I think so. I don’t think He’s cracking up laughing looking at duckbilled platypuses, but I do think he gets my jokes. I don’t think he’s changing our situations and laughing at how much it is annoying us. I don’t think he delights in watching us suffer, but I do believe that God is the creator of comedy.
I love comedy. I love getting to perform comedy. I like making a bunch of people laugh or just my friends that are around me. If you know me, you know I’m usually joking around. I love laughing. People have said that I am immature. They have said I take things too far sometimes. They have said that I am a nerd. Actually all of that is true, but in my defense, I think a lot of people are just too uptight.
I’ll gladly be any of what people have called me before I stop laughing at life. I believe in laughter. I believe in the power of it. Have you ever been in a setting with a bunch of strangers and you all witness something funny where everyone laughs? What happens inside of you? You immediately connect with that stranger because you have found some common ground. The common ground being, “We both thought that was worth laughing about.” Laughter unites us. Laughter has power.
A big way I have dealt with the heartache and frustration is to make jokes out of it all. I’ve believed for years that “If I can laugh about it, it hasn’t beaten me.” I’ve written funny songs about unemployment, singleness, and issues in my own family. I don’t write them to belittle the gravity of a situation, because some problems you can’t just brush off easily, but if I can laugh through the pain, then it has not beaten me.
Our struggles, changing plans and bitter seasons can bring on more pain and tears than we know how to handle. You don’t feel like laughing when your world is collapsing. Real life has both tears and laughter. I’m learning that there aren’t really seasons of good and seasons of bad, there are just seasons. Sure, some times are easier than others, but if you’re waiting for a time in your life when everything is going to snap into place perfectly then you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.
Most of life is a fight. A fight to wake up and do what you need to do. A fight to keep your mouth shut. A fight to stay positive. We are constantly in battles. I would suggest to you that you had better learn to laugh. You had better learn to seek out the good, to look for the light in the darkness.
Proverbs 31 talks about what a virtuous woman looks like. Verse 25 says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” I think it is so interesting that strength and dignity are accompanied with laughter. How can she laugh at the days to come? By choosing to. It comes down to a choice of perspective. You don’t get to choose the way your plans play out, but you get to choose how you handle it.
As the great philosopher James Buffett once said, “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” The world has enough insane people already (if you don’t believe me then ride the train in DC with me). I want to challenge us to laugh more. Look at your struggles and see the strength you’ve had to make it this far, and laugh at the days to come. Let yourself look stupid. Seek out the good. Let your light shine, and let your laughter be heard.