God gives us the gift of laughter to help us through our struggles. One way I've learned to let go is to laugh at myself.
I'm from the city and my husband is a country boy. When we first met, his family got a kick out of the fact that I often couldn't understand common country phrases and didn't think their farm-humor jokes were funny. At first I felt out-of-place and then, eventually, we all laughed at the differences we found every time I visited.
My friend Hykeng is African American. He likes to tease me about being a typical white girl and often educates me about "his people". He used to send me a "word of the week" to educate me on "his people's lingo". We laughed and found humor in our differences.
Sometimes when life comes at us hard, the enemy will take the opportunity to come at us harder. Life came at me hard during the first week of our 2013 Crossroads Summer Camps. Each summer we minister to approximately 4,000 students. The enemy is never happy to see students changed and impacted through the message of the gospel, so the day before I spoke he sent an emotional and mental attack my way to make me feel paralyzed. I wanted to believe and have faith, but my heart felt chained to my bed. I didn't want to get up or see anyone, much less teach from stage to 700 students. All I could see was my insufficiency.
I managed to get up and get ready to go, but before I walked through the door my phone sang the tone to tell me I'd received an email. I glanced at my inbox and saw Hykeng's address. I needed a laugh, or at least a distraction, so I opened it. He sent me a new "word of the week" with a definition, and used it in a sentence just for me:
Today’s word: Imma
Definition: "I’m going to" or "I am a..."
Word in a sentence:
White guy: Hey Jamal, would you like to play banana grams over break?
Jamal: Banana grams? Nah cuz, imma go shoot ball.
I NEEDED this email. Why? Because I love vocabulary words? Not really. Rather, this silly little email put a smile on my face when happiness was nowhere in sight. When the opportunity to laugh comes our way, we can heal our soul by swinging the door wide open.
Just as the smile appeared on my face, my mind lifted and my soul thought:
“What up devil? Today’s word is imma. It means: “I’m going to or I am a”. And here is my sentence. 'Imma ignore you and choose to believe the Word of God because imma daughter of the King of Heaven. Imma refute every tongue that accuses me because imma part of the family of the Lord and He promises to vindicate me! Imma teach the word to 700 students Wednesday night and imma believing that what God has in store for them is greater than any weapon you could ever use.'” (Isaiah 54:17)
Scripture says a cheerful heart is medicine. A laugh or smile opens our hearts to who we were created to be and it closes it to the condemnation that was never supposed to live inside us. We are children of the King of the Universe. Our King is more than capable of pulling us out of our misery if we will let Him.
Tangible Takeaway: When we are discouraged it's easy to find ourselves paralyzed. Next time you find yourself in this position, take a minute to see how Jesus may be leading you out of your dark place. Maybe it's a friend who brings a smile your way.
Offer it Up: Jesus, help me remember I am your child. Help me remember that you take pleasure in rescuing me and delivering me from the things that defeat me and bring me fear. Help me to trust you.
- God gives us the gift of laughter to help us through our struggles.
- When you find the opportunity to laugh, heal your soul by swinging the door wide open.
- Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."