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Take it to Heart
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Sunshine in Your House
By Karen Treharne

What could be more spontaneous and uplifting than a laughing child? It fills your heart with that sunshine warmth you feel on a scorching hot day in July. It brings a smile to your own face. It may even cause you to laugh yourself.

Is this important? Well, we have all heard that laughing is good for your health – unless you have the flu, of course; and laughter causes wrinkles – but wait, that’s not necessarily a good thing, is it?

All kidding aside, laughing does have a higher purpose.

How does this work exactly? Children and pets are not surprisingly comical, and while some things they do are rather tongue-in-cheek, most of their antics are humorous. But how funny are the every day, mundane, troublesome things that we encounter? Try to find the sunshine when the toilet overflows. And what about all the junk mail? Where’s the humor there? My personal favorite is the automatic phone menu: minutes of, "If you wish to…push 1," "If you know the extension of the person…" and finally, "To return to the main menu, push the star button." Is it possible to make sunshine out of these daily clouds?

The Bible records that God laughs – but He is not frivolous in his laughter, nor is He out of control. He is sincere. In Ecclesiastes 3:4, we are told that there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh." Laughter is mentioned among the beatitudes in Luke 6:21 which says, "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh." These verses should be a source of comfort to all of us. Especially on those cloudy days.

In Galatians 5:22, God tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and Acts 13:52 states that the disciples were CONTINUALLY filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. So it is possible to feel delight even in the valleys, because God is the source of all joy. In fact, we should be filled with joy MORE when things go wrong, for that is when we receive God’s special blessings.

The bottom line is that in order to bring sunshine into our home and our soul, we need Jesus. God gives each of us the gift of laughter and teaches us that we are to laugh and weep at appropriate times – and to always put our trust in Him and His Word.

So the next time the kids come home early from school unexpectedly interrupting your bubble bath, or the dog chews your favorite slipper, or your husband can’t find his wallet and needs you to cancel ALL the credit cards, or your teenager calls that someone hit him in the car but the damage isn’t that bad, pray to the Father for patience and a right attitude. It may not bring immediate blinding sunlight into your house, but it may spark a small ray of sun in your heart until things improve.
Karen Treharne is thankful for God’s gift of a sense of humor, without which life would not have inspired her with the desire to see the joy in everything the Father gives her – including the clouds. You can write to Karen through the Letters page of this magazine.
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