God’s Sense of Humor,
There is a time to laugh and a time to cry
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.”
In my writing over the years, I have referred to God’s sense of humor as something that I am so thankful for. I have never questioned it, I just assumed that He has one because He made us in His image, and we have a sense of humor and we laugh. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” He created us in His image, our sense of humor must come from Him. Our lives are His plan, every moment is part of His plan, I can think of no other way to explain the things that have happened in my life, than to say I inherited my sense of humor from my Father, My Almighty God, because He created me in His image.
There is a time (or many times) to weep also, but God makes sure our lives have many times to laugh, mourn and dance, and love and hate. My devotion this morning focused on the times in life that God has given us to either laugh at ourselves or to laugh at the events he has placed in our lives. Events He placed just to see how we would handle life. Do we pass the test? Sometimes those things that happen in life we do not laugh at in the beginning, it takes days, weeks, months, or even years before we can look at the event and laugh at it. However, God places these events in our lives for a reason. Someone is always watching, and they are watching to see how we as Christians handle the events, the trials, and the challenges in our lives that God intentionally places us in. Do we pass God’s test? What do others see in those moments? Are we a testimony for God and His loving nature, or are we a testimony for Satan and how he uses those weakest moments to pull us away from God? It truly is our decision how we will handle the trials, the challenges, and even the humor God places in our lives.
There are days that I swear God, my parents, and Mike are just sitting up in Heaven and thinking what we can do next to drive her crazy! It is just so much fun watching her trying to figure life out!
A perfect example of God’s sense of humor and plan for my life would be July 20, 2020. “This morning started out trying to figure what Greenville County Schools and PEBA have done with my insurance. Then it was all the Atlanta Airport Officers who kept telling Steve and I to move when there was nowhere to go because of all the traffic.
But the best part was this evening . . . All I needed to do was return an Amazon item through Kohl’s and then go to Walmart. Kohl’s returns are in the middle of the store now to prevent possible spread of the COVID-19. Excuse me but how is creating a separate Amazon return desk in the middle of the store helping to prevent the spread of the virus? I just entered your store, walked to the middle of the store carrying a package I brought from home, met you behind a screen, placed my item in a plastic bag while you had on plastic gloves, yet everyone around me is not wearing a mask?!
Then I go to Walmart! You have a huge sign in the front of your store that says everyone must wear a mask! Yet, when I walked in with about 5 other people, I was the only one with a mask. Okay, I am not saying a word. Then comes the fun! As I am walking around Walmart, I get the feeling I am being followed. There is this friendly white-haired gentleman, riding one of Walmart’s scooters, just sitting there smiling. The funny thing is is that he is wearing the same kind of shirt and shorts that Steve wears, and is just riding around the store. Every time I turn a corner there he is, just smiling. I told Steve Murrell I saw his doppelgänger today. Literally, I could just imagine Steve doing this same thing every time he goes to Walmart by himself. This man never said anything, but he was literally there everywhere I went. Very spooky!
So, while trying to get away from the spooky guy on the scooter, I am in the back of Walmart trying to find the paper products. I find two young guys who are working on stocking the shelves, and I asked them where I would find paper plates, plastic forks, and spoons. They both look at me like I am an alien, and truly one of them says, “I don’t know, but we will help you find them.” Within a few minutes, I find the right aisle, but then I hear one of these young men say, “I found them.” The other one responds, “No, they are over here.” To which I join the conversation and say, “No, I have them” To which they both responded, “Are you sure?” They both walked over to the aisle I was standing in and realized I had found them. They both just smiled!
When it was time to go to the register, my friend on the scooter did not have anything, but he was up front. I went to a register as far away as I could get, checked out and got to my car as soon as I could.
However, it did not stop there. As I approached my car, I realized the car parked next to mine had a man sitting in it with the windows down, and the music blaring. He was genuinely enjoying his music, head just bopping to the beat, and just smiling. As I approached my car, he just started waving and smiling! I smiled back and then he wanted to start a conversation about the music. I mumbled something and got in my car as quickly as possible.
Then after all this wonderful fun, I get home only to realize my insurance is still not settled! Life is just so much fun!!! Thank you, God, for another blessed, but humorous day!”
Then there were the moments when as a teacher I just knew God, and probably my parents and Mike were sitting together in Heaven and thinking what can we do today to get Lynne to smile, to laugh, and just to enjoy the moment? Again, it was God’s intent to place me in situations to see how well I would represent the fact that He is the focus of my life. One example would be January 6, 2016 and a reflection I wrote at the end of the day:
“God is so amazing! He has such a sense of humor, an incredible sense of timing, and an unbelievable ability to know what we need in our lives, who we need, and when we need them. I kept seeing and feeling his presence all day. One of my precious girls came in this morning in tears, and obviously terribly upset! She wanted to talk, so she stayed with me this morning while the class was in related arts, and we talked about her daddy, and how he must work out of state, for days at a time and how she just misses him. I told her about my daddy being a truck driver, and how he was often gone days at a time. I told her I have always been such a daddy’s girl, and I missed him so much. I still do. Before long we were just talking about our daddies, and she was smiling!
Then there is the fact, that my class has just had a wonderful 3 days back in school. We have probably laughed over 1/2 of each day but isn’t it wonderful that they feel relaxed and safe enough to do that in school. One of my students asked me today how students are chosen to be in my class, and I jokingly said Mr. Golden chooses students who he thinks will work well with the teacher. She thought a moment, and then asked, “So does that mean we are crazy too?” I answered, “Sure!” She replied, “Great! I want to be just like you.” God was either laughing out loud or shaking hands with Mike and my daddy! All a part of God’s plan!
This is always such a hard week for me, the anniversary of Mike’s death is Friday (Jan. 8th) and his birthday on Saturday, (Jan. 9th). It is hard to believe it will be 29 years this Friday. But God knows who we need, and exactly when we need them. Obviously, this year he thought I needed 17 of the sweetest 5th grade girls around, and all of them with a great sense of humor and such a loving nature! Life does not get any better, than when I am in my classroom with my girls!”
There was another day on January 17, 2017 that I honestly thought God was just laughing the day away at the events and students He placed in my life.
“I honestly think God has an incredible sense of humor, and today He was sitting up in Heaven just laughing at the plans He had for me today. I am quite sure He was tired of me feeling sad and worried, and was thinking “Okay, Lynne, if you are not going to have faith in me, I am going to make you laugh and shake your head so much today, that you will have no choice but to snap out of this mood you are in. You have too much in your life to be thankful for, so here goes!”
Another day of testing today had its moments of laughter. About 30 minutes into testing, I noticed one of my girls just sitting at her desk shaking her head. I walked over and whispered to make sure she was okay. Her whispered response, “Oh sure, I am okay, just trying to shake up all this knowledge in my head so I can answer all of these math questions. I know they are there somewhere. ” 😁 I told her just don’t shake so hard that they come out. She just smiled and said, “They’re not that loose. ” 😂
After testing was over, we were working on our decimal math lesson. My girls are struggling with just reading them, so we have been practicing just reading them without saying “dot” or “point” when we read them. Today was very frustrating, so I used one of “many voices” to illustrate how it should be said. One of my girls raises her hand, and asked, “Mrs. Murrell, just how many of those voices do you have? I think we have heard like 1,000. Don’t you get confused listening to yourself and all those voices?” 😂😂
Later in the day, a student brought me a bracelet she had made for me and it had my name on it. I asked her why she put my full name on it, she responded, “I want you to remember who you are when you get older.” 😂😂😂
During indoor recess, the laughter just escalated while trying to teach a small group of my girls how to play my mother’s favorite game, Scrabble. The whole idea of when letters touch, they must form one word simply just did not work for some of my girls, as is obvious in such words as “lowfits” (translation: low fence, “You know, Mrs. Murrell, some people have high fences and some people low fences.”) or “woajeep” (translation: “Whoa, jeep!” “You know, Mrs. Murrell that jeep is headed straight for you, and you yell, Whoa, Jeep!”). Then there was the student that obviously didn’t like her choice of letters, so she dumped them all out and started picking her own letters so she could make a 7-letter word and get the 50 extra points. 😂😂😂😂
Yet, when all is said and done, it was their responses to the morning message about how they can be stars on the test today that touched my heart, and then there was that moment in the cafeteria at lunch, when I watched every girl place her napkin in her lap before they started to eat, that made me smile and almost cry. Oh, my heart! I thank God every day for these girls! It is just sometimes my personal emotions try to distract me from my goal and purpose in life. Thank you, God for reminding me today!”
However, my best example of God’s sense of humor and how He uses the events in our lives for us to stand as a witness for him, a testimony to those that are watching, happened way back in 1981 when I was pregnant with my second child (I had miscarried my first child). This day, this moment is a moment in life I will always remember, and I am quite sure it was God’s way of saying, “Okay, Lynne, here comes another trial, another moment when we are going to see what you are made of, when we see how much you have learned from me and those I placed in your life. You can either laugh and move forward, or you can panic, cry, and get mad. Let us see how you handle it. “The day started our pretty normal, but soon changed as part of God’s plan. The year was 1981, the month was November, and the place was a farm in the middle of Mebane, NC. Mike and I were renting the basement of a house on 250 acres of land, from this sweet older couple, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They were both retired, they built this huge house on this beautiful piece of land with a lake, and beautiful sunsets and sun rises. Other than the 30-minute ride to any civilization, Mike and I loved it! Mr. Smith had horses, cows, pigs, goats, and a bull! A huge bull! The basement we rented for $100.00 a month was beautiful, about 1500 square feet. They were such a sweet couple. I was pregnant, and of course both of our mothers were genuinely concerned about us being a good distance away from hospitals and doctors. I was working at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Mike worked at the hospital in Chapel Hill. Everything was going great!
Then on this morning in November, Mike had already left for work. I was getting ready to leave and go to a doctor’s appointment, and then work. I am feeling great and then opened the door. Imagine opening your front door, and there stands a huge bull, striking the porch with his hoof, making snorting sounds, and truly looking like he is ready to charge. I looked at him right in the eyes and said, “Hi George!”, closed the door, calmly walked to the phone, picked it up, called Mr. Smith, and said, “Mr. Smith, I just wanted you to know that George is out of his pen. He is on my front porch, looks like he wants to charge someone, and I need to go to the doctor.” Mr. Smith chuckles and says, “We will be right there.” And they did come, Mr. Smith and 5 of his workers. It took them about 30 minutes to get George to move away from the front porch!
As I walked out about 45 minutes later to get in my car, Mr. Smith was standing outside, and he apologized greatly for George and hoped my doctor’s visit went ok. I looked out the corner of my eye, and there stood George. It truly looked like he was standing there with a twinkle in his eye and a smirk in his smile, as if to say, “Lynne, if you can survive a bull charging on your front porch, you can survive anything! You can handle whatever life throws at you.” And I have!
Later that evening when Mike got home, at first, he thought I was just making it all up, then he called Betty Kay McGinnis and told her what had happened. Within 30 days we had moved into a house, in the city, within 10 minutes of Alamance County Hospital! Patrick was born about 4 months later, which was about 6 weeks early of his birth date.
God truly has such an enormous sense of humor!”
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
At the end of the day, it comes down to this. . . Everything that happens is part of God’s plan! So how do you handle yourself each day? With grace, understanding, empathy, a sense of humor, and smiles? Or do you get impatient, angry, or does hatred enter your heart? God has an incredible sense of humor! He gives love, grace, and mercy beyond measure! When you are blessed enough to receive the blessings from each of them, how do you respond!” Our lives, every moment, every second is a testimony to how focused we are on God and His plan for our lives. Those around us are watching, they are taking in every second, every decision we make in response to the events God places before us. What incredible opportunities we have every day to be a witness for Him and what He does in our lives, what He does for us. His grace, love, and mercy are there for us to shine for others to experience. His sense of humor is there for others to delight in and enjoy. Do we laugh at the events that challenge us or do we get angry and mad? Each moment, each event is an opportunity to show others that God is loving, merciful, extends grace to everyone, and that He definitely has a sense of humor.