Holy Laughter

July 2, 2024 | Russ Moe

Sandy stared at the floor. Gene sat stiff with his arms folded tightly across his chest and his lips pursed. I felt the same way  my assistant pastor looked–grim. The time had come to tell the Tuckers we had to close the doors of their satellite church. The once thriving group of over fifty had dwindled to five--Gene and Sandy were two of them. As lead pastor, it was my responsibility to deliver the bad news. 

I sat at my desk dreading what was about to happen. This was like killing their baby. 

I broke the weight of the silence with, “Why don’t we start with a word of prayer?” 

I hid in the darkness behind my closed eyes. I’d give anything to not be here right now. 

I prayed, “Lord, thank you for your grace tonight, please help us . . .” and waited. 

Then, something terrifying happened. I chuckled. Oh no, that’s not appropriate I thought. But then, I giggled, again, for no good reason, even more inappropriately. I began to laugh. This is a disaster, I thought, but I couldn’t stop. It grew louder. 

Then I heard a tiny squeak of a tee-hee. It was Sandy. 

Is this contagious? 

The dam broke and we both burst. It was as if we had just heard the funniest joke ever told. Gene’s laughter erupted. His bellowing three-hundred-pound frame vibrated the whole room. Everything became hilarious. 

The assistant pastor caught the spirit. Soon we were bent over slapping our knees between breaths trying to contain what had come over us. We were “drunk” on the new Wine of the Spirit just like Acts 2:13: “These men are full of new wine.”

When we finally gained composure Sandy volunteered, “I feel like a weight has just been lifted off our shoulders. We’ve been striving for five years trying to breathe life into a dead horse. Praise the Lord.” 

I didn’t have to say a word. God’s surprise answer changed heart dispositions. That’s a miracle. I felt like dancing. 

We all embraced, chuckling as we departed, refreshed by our amazing God.

This miraculous manifestation continued in that small Kansas town for a season, in prayer meetings and various encounters. Broken relationships reconciled, at least one marriage was saved, over a hundred new people came into the mother church in a matter of weeks. No one could ever have planned the holy ha ha revival.

Have you laughed yet today? Can you remember the last time you had a good knee-slappin’ ha ha? Proverbs 17:22 (NAS) says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Laughing is healthy. 

Milton Berle, the great comedian from a past era said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.” Some of us could use a small vacation. And it’s free.

Genesis 21:6 NIV says, “God has brought me laughter.” We pray many prayers, but when’s the last time you asked God for a hearty laugh? God wants us to laugh. He created laughter. 

Why not ask Him for a drink of the new wine today and watch what happens?