When it comes to accepting ourselves greater, here is one of the best-kept secrets: there is a magic needle called joy that stitches heaven and earth together!
That’s right. We can sew into our circumstances the sparklehood and twinkletivity of heaven’s colors: red, yellow, orange, purple, green, turquoise, teal, gold, silver, and a zillion other colors that don’t have earthly names.
When I enter the throne room, I see Christ holding up a needle threaded with strands of these colors. Then He pulls stitches through unseen layers of our spiritual atmosphere, tugging zillions of heavenly colors together. I enter into the joy and peals of laughter rise up and out of me.
Remarkably, there are lots of studies done about the scientific benefits of laughter. It turns out that blood vessel relaxation and blood flow increase by 22% when we laugh. (School of Medicine Study Shows Laughter Helps Blood Vessels Function Better, University of MD Medical Center.) Laughing makes us smarter!
Laughter increases our emotional health. When we laugh, our brains release a series of chemicals like dopamine, which helps the brain to process emotional responses and enhances the experience of pleasure; serotonin, which lifts moods; and endorphins, which regulate pain and stress and induces euphoria. (Humor, Laughter, and Those Aha Moments, the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute Letter)
Another benefit: laughter gives us strong social bonds that increase our mental energy and serve as a safety valve. “It serves as a processing ‘finalizer’—when a relatively important problem . . . has been suddenly channeled in a positive way, and has vanished as such problem. Like in the slow tension growth and fast release of physical massage, the paradoxical, or tense, or contradictory situation suddenly becomes a well-known case of pleasurable . . . nature. Problem solved!” (The Bonds of Laughter)
When I get stuck emotionally and need to move past my shortcomings, I remember another cool factoid: the brain can’t differentiate between real and fake laughter. That is, even a “forced” well-placed chuckle at a mishap or blunder will release all of its benefits!
The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
I invite you to enter into my grandson, Logan’s joy. He was two when he discovered the magic of a touch-lamp in my home (1-minute video).
What attributes of heaven are you depositing in your circumstances with laughter today?