“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”—NEHEMIAH 8:10 NIV
When you’re in the starring role as a caregiver, laughter becomes essential. Scientists have been studying the effects of laughter on the immune system. To date, their published studies have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, and boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being.
With all the positives laughter produces, is it any wonder God speaks of it in the Bible? “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them’ ” (Psalm 126:2 NIV).
Not many have faced as much adversity as Job. Yet even there the Lord speaks of laughter: “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21).
Maybe today you need to rent a funny movie or check out a book of jokes from the library. Maybe this day you need to belly laugh. God will enjoy that.