PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A LITTLE VIDEO TO WATCH IN THE MIDST OF THIS DEVOTIONAL…ENJOY!
A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. – Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. – Proverbs 15:13
Life can be serious. Too serious. Especially these days. In this world. In this day and age. As the world draws to a close before Jesus ultimately reigns forevermore in God’s kingdom of forever followers. As darkness spreads. As tragedies abound. As people face challenges like never before. Do you ever feel like you want to just come up for air – and breathe? And get a break from the seriousness of life? I know I do! I have always been serious by nature. And I have faced so many challenges for so very long. Sometimes I just feel like I need a break. A rest. A reprieve. Most obviously what I need is time alone, away, in rest, in the peace and quiet and amazing love of the Lord. But there is something else I have found, obviously nothing in comparison to the amazing-ness of spending time with the Lord away from it all which I do daily, but still something that brings welcome relief.
And that’s laughter. And sometimes that’s exactly what the Lord sends me. Some comic relief. In the midst of the seriousness of life. Perhaps that is one of the reasons He sent me years ago Dancer, a now 13 year old beagle dog found on a short tie-up without food or water and sent to a shelter where he was headed for euthanization. There is nothing funny about Dancer’s history, of course, but it’s hard not to laugh, or at least smile, when this happens.
When I sit in my hotel room at my laptop typing away at the keyboard to write my latest devotional, sometimes Dancer gets bored. Dancer doesn’t do “bored” well. Even at 13, sitting still can be a bother to him. He gets restless. And, just like a young child, when he can’t find something to entertain himself, and he gets bored, he comes to “mom” to perk himself up. But Dancer isn’t like most other dogs. He doesn’t nudge me with his nose, jump up on top of me, bite my pants leg with his schnozzle, bark at me, or do any other typical attention-getting antics. Dancer does what Dancer does best. He dances! Right next to me at the laptop. Facing me with that adorable look of his. Making it abundantly clear he wants something. Like love. And attention. Affection. Anything. Now. He doesn’t just dance for a few seconds. He dances for periods of time, balancing himself up in the air, sometimes even yawning in the midst of his dance. Coming down eventually. Oftentimes only for a break before in seemingly adorable slow motion he moves back up into dancing position and begins all over again his dancing.
Sometimes I get annoyed because I’m so serious. Too serious at times. Irritable. Tired. Other times, I do what I believe we all need to do at times. I smile. I laugh inside my heart. Reminded that life isn’t all serious. If I’m in the right frame of mind, I give Dancer a little love and attention. Before getting back to my work. To being serious. And before Dancer moves on to his next activity. Like his next nap. Or whatever.
Maybe you, too, need a reminder to laugh. To smile. To enjoy God’s blessings. And not to be swallowed up by life’s seriousness. There is nothing more important when it comes to needing a break, to relax, to rest, to get respite, to recover and be renewed and refreshed, revived and restored than to spend time alone with the Lord and His Word, than to spend time with Him, to seek Him and pray to Him and listen to and hear and obey Him, than to praise and worship Him, to honor and adore Him, to take comfort and rest and find peace in Him. But there is also something to be said as we go about our everyday lives to also remember to smile – and to laugh. As we remember to enjoy and to be thankful for His blessings, both great ones and small ones and everything in between. Like dancing dogs. Like Dancer. Be blessed, my friend. And don’t forget to smile. And to laugh.