The power of laughter…

Ever had one of those weeks where things seem a little harder than usual to tolerate, when your house feels like a prison from which your only escape depends on that teetering pile of ironing that  (if you are lucky) will topple over and smother you, thereby freeing you from a. having to iron it and b. housework in general!

I was spoiled—I grew up in a country where domestic help was affordable for my family. I look longingly into the recesses of my memory for a Betty, Sophie or Precious to come rescue me from this endless list of thankless tasks! I will resist the temptation here to overdramatise things by saying “Arbeit macht frei.” I won’t even mention it!

Anyway, I was just going to offer up one of those little posts in honour of my friend Mel who came to visit me a few days ago now and brought with her the most healing gift I know—laughter. Over several cups of tea (the other healing gift I treat with great respect), we laughed and laughed at everything and nothing. We laughed until we cried, we laughed until we couldn’t breathe and our faces went red, we laughed till we peed…well almost. My stomach ached for at least a day afterwards… and my soul floated heavenward with gratitude for the friends who fill my life with riches that money can’t buy.

Beautiful friends, you fill my life with sunshine. Thank you for the quirky, unique, motley bunch you are! You make me a better person by loving me and letting me love you in return.

And just like that. Everything changes. Again.

Let me just say this: Nothing that surprises us is ever a surprise to God. I know this because He tells me things (or about things) before they happen. The details may be a surprise to me, but never to Him.

On Friday He spoke to me about two things:

1. God gives himself many names, one of which means the God who foresees and provides what is needed. I have experienced this more times than I can count. I know it to be true.

2. Struggle, pain and change are all opportunities for Him to reveal Himself to us. I think God is disinterested in religion and its trappings. I believe His primary interest in creation lies in building a relationship with mankind, with individuals, with you and with me. Our struggles, or pain, or seasons of change are opportunities for Him to reveal himself to us, to show us who He is and let us know Him. I believe His desire is that we accept and respond. It’s beautiful. It moves me to tears.

And just like that….within an hour…everything changes. My husband (who is the primary income earner in our family of five) was made redundant. It wasn’t handled particularly well by the company, but graciously by my husband. I’m proud of him for that. It was a shock, unexpected, but we were not unprepared because there is a God who foresaw what was needed, whispered a promise of his provision, and invited us into an opportunity to see a new aspect of His character revealed. It’s beautiful. It makes me feel strong.

I’m not the kind of person who pushes my faith onto others. In fact, I rarely tell them about my faith at all because I believe that what I value should be evident in the way I live my life. But today, for a moment, if you are still reading this (which I take to mean you are not offended that I mentioned the G-word), I’d like to express my gratitude to a God who invited me to know Him and has never once stopped surprising me with how loving and generous and forgiving and faithful and powerful and beautiful He is. And it’s been 28 years…

Things can be good, and just like that, everything changes. But things can look bleak too…and just like that. Everything changes. Again.

It’s going to be one amazing journey. I’ll keep you posted.