Let’s get closer to see the action of this long-anticipated cage match. In the center of the cage, Joy and Happiness are standing toe to toe, staring at each other while the referee goes over the rules.
Referee: “Okay, here are the rules, there are no rules,”
Then the camera zooms in on our opponents, waiting to see who will strike the first blow. The cameras pick up a slight nod from Joy, and Happiness returns the gesture with a wink. The bell rings and the two reach out their arms… and hug each other…and begin to laugh! They are just happy to be with the other, filled with joy at their intertwined tasks to help humanity know the love of God. Their laughter is infectious, and the crowd is on their feet joining in. The viewers at home cannot believe what just happened but are also caught in the wave of God’s love washing over them. Families are healed, and folks are radiating love to their neighbors. The Beatles song All You Need is Love begins to play as the world becomes a better place.
“We laughed and laughed, and overflowed with gladness! We were left shouting for joy and singing your praise. All the nations saw it and joined in, saying, ‘The Lord has done great miracles for them.” (Psalm 126:2 [The Passion Translation])
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, Laughter is the best medicine. There is such a thing as laughter research. One such researcher, William Fry, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. Laughter affects our bodies in various ways. Although studies are not conclusive, it does improve your quality of life, reduces your stress, and can change your outlook from negative to positive.
I love to laugh and hope that I am contagious enough to bring joy and happiness to others. So I began to think what makes me happy. The most joyful thing I can think of: I will live with Jesus forever! Not only is he living in me now, but when my mortal body breathes its last breath, I get to see him in heaven. I don’t fear death, because of the sheer joy of seeing Jesus, face to face!
Adam and Eve had that joyful pleasure in the Garden of Eden. There is a reason it is called Paradise. In Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Genesis 3:8, he states, “They welcomed God’s gracious visits with humble joy. God choosing to spend part of the day with them, spending time with them.”
I long for that kind of daily intimacy with God. In my current condition, I am flawed and broken. Only by the daily gift of his grace, do I have any relationship with him. So now I am just getting a small taste of the joy of spending time with him. So being with him forever brings me mind-blowing joy! I cannot even imagine how awesome it will be, but I look forward to it with every fiber of my being.
Philippians 1:21 says “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.”
Right now I have work to do for God, so I am living for Christ. But if I die, I gain, because then I am with Jesus for eternity!