I remember one night around the supper table when our kids were young. It was at a point in my life when I felt a great weight on my shoulders. But something happened that night that changed everything.
First, one of the kids snickered during the prayer. That tipped the first domino. Then someone shared a humorous incident from school, triggering havoc around the table. Twenty minutes of the loudest, silliest, most enjoyable sounds followed. At one point, our oldest fell off his chair in hysterics. Our youngest spilled his drink twice. Then he doubled over, planting his face in his full plate. The corn chips stuck on his cheeks sent our two girls leaning back, lost in the most beautiful, beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity: laughter.
Suddenly, the weight lifted. I looked around, filled with the most pleasant memories a father can enjoy—a happy, loud-laughing family. What a treasure!
The older I get, the more I lean into that treasure...because the older I get, the more I know: Life is incredibly difficult. I could share with you many challenges our family has faced in the last month alone. You could do the same with me.
I don’t know a single person who isn’t far too familiar with hurting. We’ve all been touched by illness and aging, strife and pain, debilitating needs and bills we never could’ve planned for. Add to that demanding deadlines, unending to-dos, and the daily bad news and barbed negativity on our screens, and you’ve got a recipe for despair.
My advice? Laugh whenever you can! I’m not saying what you’re going through isn’t serious. I’m not telling you to shrug off your responsibilities either. But if you ask me, laughing can be as sacred as praying, preaching, or witnessing. You simply cannot convince me that during His years with the Twelve, our Lord never enjoyed a long, sidesplitting laugh. Who has a burden or responsibility greater than He bore?
I don’t mean to be insensitive. It’s because I know life is so very difficult that I’m giving this advice. A sense of humour isn’t merely a nice option for Christians. It’s part of our essential survival gear for the trip to glory.
That’s why you’ll never tune in to Insight for Living and hear me carrying on like a stern, long-faced basset hound. You won’t open one of our resources or visit our website and find somber, lifeless theology. Our staff members know when I’m in the building by the laughter echoing through the halls. I’m committed to ensuring that never changes! And all of us are committed to walking alongside you through life’s challenges, equipping you with biblical truth and encouraging you to laugh when you need to the most.
To keep up the joy, for you and countless others, we need your financial support. Will you ask the Lord about giving to Insight for Living Canada this month? Then give as He leads with a cheerful heart. Remember? “‘God loves a person who gives cheerfully’” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
The trip to glory isn’t easy. Let’s journey together and count on the Lord to multiply our generosity into dividends of joy in our hearts as well as in the hearts of others.
With His joy as my strength,
Charles R. Swindoll