There is no doubt that the world is in a crisis. People are facing serious issues regarding health, safety, money, relationships, education, food, and more. And yet even though these times are grim, people are still laughing. Comedians, late night hosts, and even Saturday Night Live are finding ways to make people laugh despite limited resources. People are posting and reposting hilarious videos and pictures on social media. Funny TV shows and movies are continuing to stream on Netflix and other media platforms. It is evident that humor is alive and well.
Alas our ability to laugh in difficult circumstances sometimes cause us to feel guilty. We can question if finding humor in the middle of a pandemic where hundreds of thousands have died and many more are fighting for their lives is appropriate. While there are obviously certain times when laughing would not be proper – you wouldn’t want to start cackling if your best friend told you they are on their way to the emergency department with difficulty breathing – humor is a wonderful tool to help us get through difficult times. It’s okay to laugh, in fact it is probably necessary.
The Bible makes it clear that appropriate humor is good thing, because laughter helps to lift our spirits and improve our attitudes. When we face trials and tribulations with an overwhelming negative mindset or a pessimistic spirit, things can become exponentially worse. This is in part why God gave us the ability to laugh; He knows how therapeutic it can be. Job, who was well-acquainted with difficult circumstances, understood that God is able to bring healing laughter in the midst of pain. “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21). May we continue to have our spirits buoyed by laughter as we enjoy God’s gift of humor!