Have You Asked?

Delighted (1)


I’m about to start this blog in a scandalous manner. That’s right, I am going to bring up something secular that many are against, but that actually has a practical message.

Here it goes …

In the third book of the fictional Harry Potter series there is a creature that preys upon the characters’ deepest and darkest fears. It does this by turning into what each individual fears most. There is a scene where an entire classroom has to learn how to fight off the fear that the creature feeds on and there is only one way to do it. Picture something silly in their mind, cast the spell (I know, scandalous) and suddenly that creature turns into something funny. In short, laughter fights off the darkness and pushes back the fear the student is feeling and the creature flees.

Recently, I have been feeling the need to laugh. Have you? Perhaps it is the darkness in this world and all the frustration that seems to tug me down. Or maybe it is that laughter is a little glimpse of the hope we have to come.

If you really get me going with a good laugh, I will cry, most likely stomp my foot like a complete imbecile, and slap my knee like a country boy using spoons as a musical instrument. It’s a real foot-stomping good time and a sight to see! On more than one occasion when I get tickled about something, I have had friends tell me they don’t even know why they are laughing, but that I’m making them laugh because I am laughing so hard.

That’s what I love about laughter, it’s contagious and can spread like wildfire.

A few months ago, I was with some women and one mentioned that she and her husband had shared a time of laughter that refreshed and rejuvenated their souls in a season of family stress. Hearing her speak of this, made me wonder, have I ever asked God for laughter?

So, this past week, I asked God for it while praying with some close friends. And boy, oh, boy did He answer! As our prayer time came to an end we got to talking, one story had all of us laughing and enjoying time with one another. It was laughter unto the Lord, and it was refreshing!

We all need a little refreshment these days. A little strengthening as we walk through worries about our world, our neighborhoods, our churches, our families and even our own hearts. I’ve spoken with many recently and the word that keeps coming up is “weary.” Weary and tired—stressed, burdened, in need of security and peace, and on and on the list goes. We are a weary people. Do you feel it too?

Allow me to point you to a passage of Scripture that has reminded me of the gift of laughter and of joy.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”   -Psalm 126: 1-3

That first line tells us what brought about this laughter, it was restoration from the Lord for the people of Israel. It led to laughter and shouts of joy! And most importantly, it made others notice something different. The nations realized that all joyfulness was credited to their God.

So, what does this tell me? Laughter and joy are important pieces of refreshment and the hope of the ultimate restoration of heaven that is to come.

It also shows me that laughter is a sign of life—and it is here among us. Those of us in Christ have been restored and it is reason enough to laugh and shout for joy! Our lives and salvation, our laughter and joy, are a testament to the work Christ did on the cross and the hope of eternity with Him. When we laugh in struggle, when we sing in suffering, it is a testimony to others of the One who saved us.

So, I ask you, have you asked Him for laughter?

It may sound silly to ask for something so childish, but there is strength in innocence. Childlike faith is a beautiful thing, so why not ask for laughter?

No, I don’t know what you are walking through. This could possibly be the busiest, loneliest, hardest, or most fearful season of your life. It might seem practically insane to ask the Lord for laughter at a time like this, but I challenge you to ask Him. Go ahead, feel silly in asking for laughter and do it with the hope of restoration in mind, the longing for our eternal home in Heaven.

Because we all need a little piece of Heaven here on earth, a good laugh that makes your ribs hurt and releases tension is one way to do that. It reminds us that there is still good in this world and that God is still working. It pushes back against the fear and darkness we see on our screens and reminds the Evil One just Who is really in control.

Because when we can find joy in the midst of our circumstances, even when we feel broken, it is a living testimony to the Lord and His glory.

Nehemiah 8:10 says, “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

So now, as we come to a close, I ask you, have you asked Him for laughter today? Why not start off your week asking Him for the blessing of laughter? Ask His for laughter with your spouse, with your children, with your friends. Ask, and wait with anticipation for when that moment comes and you can look up and say, “Thank You!”

And with it, I truly believe, you will find strength.

Heavenly Father, You alone know the hurts and fears that are being carried by those who read these words. You are our Helper. Would You pour forth Your joy and bring about laughter in our lives? Though the world is in fear, would You remind us that refreshment is with You and that laughter turns our eyes to the light? God, for me and those reading this, I ask – will You give us moments of laughter this week? May our laughter be a testimony that there is still good, and it comes from You. It’s in the mighty, precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.