Happy Saturday, girlfriend. How are you doing today? Life is more than a little bumpy right now, a little unpredictable. I have a feeling that what has been inconvenient is about to become extremely difficult for many. Maybe things already are very hard for you. How I wish we could sit across from each other, sipping our favorite beverages and sharing our hearts. But while I’m all for a good heart to heart, I’d like for us to laugh together more than we cry. At times like these I value a good sense of humor.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that a national health emergency is not a laughing matter. Nor is the economic strain that most of us are beginning to feel. Just yesterday my daughter was notified that she would be furloughed from her job beginning next week, and she’ll need to pay her own insurance premiums in order to maintain her benefits. We weren’t laughing as we processed this news.
But, bless her heart, she did appear in my office, shortly after our conversation, with a spoonful of peanut butter. She plopped down on her mom’s lap and announced that George Washington Carver is her hero. Of course, he is credited with creating that big dollop of comfort she was licking on.
A sense of humor is a beautiful treasure during a time of crisis. No, it can’t be tossed about glibly, without care. In fact, the more serious the crisis, the more careful one must be when interjecting humor. But woe to the family, the staff, the church, the group of friends where a little humor can’t be found.
I guess tastefully interjecting humor into dire situations is a bit of an art form. It requires a little practice, some finesse, maybe even some painful trial and error. But in the long run, I think I’d rather laugh more and moan less…even if we have to back peddle into the gravity of the situation afterwards.
The Beauty of a Sense of Humor
A woman with a sense of humor knows how to take the appropriate things seriously, but she also knows how to add a little levity when the conversation gets too weighty. She somehow breathes fresh air into those conversations that seem to suck the life out of you otherwise. Do you know someone like that?
James and I have found that a healthy sense of humor is crucial to our marriage, too. We try to laugh at ourselves often and laugh together even more frequently. We allow each other to kid and poke fun without getting our feelings wounded. But I think the only reason we’re able to laugh with each other so liberally is because we also work really hard to show support and respect to one another consistently.
Maybe that’s a key to a beautiful sense of humor. Maybe we have to show respect and restraint before we can really let loose with laughter. What do you think?
I also welcome a sense of humor because it helps us keep things in perspective. Without humor we definitely take ourselves too seriously, but we also risk becoming hopeless about our circumstances, losing sight of the bigger picture, forgetting there are “worst things,” and neglecting to be thankful for what we do have, for what is good and right and still intact.
Humor helps us handle the difficulties of life with balance. It clears our minds and lifts our spirits and helps us breathe big gulps of air again.
How to Cultivate a Sense of Humor
Honestly, I’m kind of shooting from the hip here. I’ve never really put much thought into the mechanics of developing a sense of humor before. I’ve assumed you either have the gift or you don’t. Ha!
But let’s think about this a little.
In Proverbs 31:25 we read of this amazing woman:
Strength and dignity are her clothing,~ Proverbs 31:25
and she laughs at the time to come.”
I’ve always been fascinated by this verse. And looking at it fresh today I think we find the key to maintaining a good sense of humor during difficult days.
This woman obviously is not silly or irreverent in her humor. The surrounding scriptures indicate she is respectful, hard-working, industrious, kind and serious about her duties in life. But she does know how to laugh in the face of difficulty and uncertainty.
Why is she able to laugh at the future? Because she’s prepared. Other translations (I’ve used the English Standard Version here) tell us she is cheerful about the future, is joyful about the future, smiles at the future and is not afraid of the future. Bottom line? This woman doesn’t let fear rob her of her joy.
And that, dear gal, is the lesson for us during these uncertain times. Let’s not let fear rob us of our joy. How will we do that? Let’s remember that even in uncertain times, we can be sure of who holds our futures. God is trustworthy and in control even when things seem very out of control.
If we trust God to carry us through and provide for us, we, too, can laugh at the future. That doesn’t mean we just sit back and abandon all personal responsibility. The Proverbs 31 woman certainly didn’t. Likewise, we must be wise women, industrious and savvy. But we also can be fearless.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”~ Romans 8:38-39
When our security rests in the love of God, we can relax a little even though what once appeared secure is crumbling around us. When we trust Jesus, we can have a joy that overflows even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainty. Let’s remember in the coming days that our joy is not dependent on our health, the economy, our ability to socialize or even our ability to gather for worship with our church families. Our joy is in the Lord. Period.
How to Share a Sense of Humor
Let’s be women who listen well, respond respectfully, take seriously our duties and live wisely. But let’s also be women who bring a little laughter and joy into the lives of those around us.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a smile…maybe a little light in your eyes. Other times we can share a lighthearted story, tell about a moment of personal embarrassment, send a funny meme or make light of a personal mistake.
How can you give the gift of humor to those around you this weekend? Or how has someone lightened your load recently by bringing a little humor into your hard day?
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment.