He Laughed


            As I sat reading a book in the waiting room of the Montgomery Cancer Center, I noticed a family sitting across the room.  An older man sat there with tape over the bends in both of his arms, patching the needle marks from his blood work.  His face was so swollen than he couldn’t even open his mouth to speak.  I watched, feeling very sorry for him, but I soon noticed that his disposition was not at all like one might expect.  He was listening to his son tell some funny stories, and he was laughing…only through his nose….but he was laughing.  And this was no snicker; it was a shoulder-bouncing, foot-stomping, hearty laugh.  I don’t know if this man was a Christian.  I hope he was, but I was reminded of the fact that this world is only our temporary dwelling place, and true happiness is only found in the hope of heaven.

            Undoubtedly, anyone would want to be able to find joy even in the most dreadful of circumstances.  But how, one might ask, is that joy attained?  You will be happy, even in the face of trouble, when your “citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).  The failure of physical things is inevitable (Matthew 24:35).  But the hope of the Christian does not perish with the things of this world; rather it grows stronger with the passing of time, as we near our reward (Matthew 19:29).  Where is your citizenship?

            You will find joy amid life’s hardships if you believe God is alive and at work in the world.  Paul said, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  God “sends rain on the just and the unjust,” but if we trust His word, we know that everything, both good and bad, works together within the will of God.  In that there is great joy!

So, how can you laugh when pain fills your life, your body is failing you, and the end seems near?  Lift your eyes towards heaven, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).            

----Darrell Powell