“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
~Proverbs 17:22 NLT
We were still in a scary season of my husband’s unexplainable health issues, where we hopped from doctor to doctor, practically begging someone to find out why he felt like falling asleep each time his sat to rest.
Emotionally, we were spent.
It wasn’t until many months into his slow healing process that I was reminded of this beautiful truth of how God created a built-in medicinal aid that releases endorphins when we do one simple thing: Laugh.
Do you want to sling a sucker-punch to the gut of your sickness? Happiness is one of God’s greatest secrets the enemy hopes we never tap into, and wouldn’t you know, this biological pick-me-up hinges on a big qualifier. We have to silence the chattering in our brains long enough to enjoy those precious moments in life. If not, we allow our hearts to crumble underneath our fears of the unknown.
I’ve lived in this valley for far too long, both with my many sicknesses, as well as my spouse’s setback. And if anyone can offer a lifeline to save your spirit, I hope this next story will.
One afternoon during this stressful season of life Madison, our 20-year-old at the time, managed to raise money to throw a little surprise spa day for me, complete with breakfast, a pretty necklace, and lunch by the beach for my four-year heart surgery anniversary. Sitting at the resort, I felt incredibly relaxed. We walked along the beach afterwards, and smiled while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. This was an amazing day, indeed, but it wasn’t until we stopped by Trader Joe’s on our way home that my mood changed.
After checking out of the grocery store, Madison picked up two of our overflowing paper bags, and walked to the van. I followed with my hands full only to witness her start to sprint towards a moving minivan. She swung the bulky bags from side to side, her blonde hair flopping in the wind while she screamed, “Stop!” towards the moving vehicle, until I could no longer see her.
Out of breath she returned, and plopped the bags on the floorboard of my van. At this point, I’m chuckling.
“What’s funny?” she panted out.
“You bolted down the parking lot, lugging groceries, screaming at a stranger,” more chuckles tumbled out.
“Didn’t you see the guy’s trunk?”
“Nope,” another snicker.
Her hands started explaining just as much as she quickly rambled, “He left his trunk up, with his groceries about to topple out. I had to stop him or he would have taken off.” Her breathing settled a little as she realized how silly she must have looked.
I’m choking with laughter at this point, partly because I had so much tension built up inside and it felt so amazing to let it go. Tears trickled down my cheeks as Madison giggled at my reaction. Of course, she didn’t care. Groceries had been saved.
When the laughing subsided, that’s when it hit me.
I had forgotten completely about the health issues.
Completely about the financial hiccup we were in.
Completely about how desperately I needed to solve our debilitating situation.
For five full minutes, I felt 100 percent joy in my heart in the midst of our cruddy season of life. And a bouncing blonde, dashing through a parking lot triggered the first bout of happiness I had experienced in months.
Shame on me for sinking so low and wasting so much time when I could have found ways to experience joy. Snapping out of my stinking thinking for a bit was the first step.
That day I praised God for this reminder of how a cheerful heart is the medicine that soothes our spirit, and reminds me that happiness is possible in the midst of our insane days!
Sweet friend, what makes you laugh?
Find your silliest friend and escape for the afternoon, rent a ridiculous movie, watch AFV (America’s Funniest Videos), check out clean bloopers on YouTube, read a funny book, search for “Clean Autocorrect text fails” on the internet, and giggle at the silly mistakes, or possibly listen to Tim Hawkins or some other positive comedian. Or better yet, get tickets to their standup show.
Whatever you do today, make it your mission to laugh.
I promise, it’s good medicine.
When was the last time you deep-belly laughed?
Pray and ask God to help you find your cheery escape today. What did He say?
“Satan will do everything he can to discourage you from expressing Gratitude and praise. He wants you to be a grumbler. Why? Because grumbling is an expression of unbelief and ingratitude (two big ways to short-circuit God’s power in your life).
~Robert Morris, Modified from The Power of Your Words:
How God can bless your life through the words you speak
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
~ Proverbs 31:25 NLT
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;”
~ Psalm 34:4&5a NLT
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good (encouraging) word
makes it glad.”
~ Proverbs 12:25 AMP
Sweet friends, please share with me any movies or activities that make you laugh. I love learning from you guys! : )
And as always, please let me know if you find a typo.
In His hands,
PS To subscribe to the blog to receive future posts, click here. To send me the biggest virtual hug, click on this underlined link to leave a review on Amazon of When God Intervenes. Best. Gift. Ever. (I know. That was a shameless plug. But I’ve been told that reviews help guide others to the book. I’d love to encourage as many recovering patients as I can and spread a little hope. xoxo)