Every time she begins to laugh in church she places her hand over her mouth and contains herself. Week after week I noticed she would experience God and once again she would contain herself from laughing.
I am a good friend with her, so I asked her, “For the last few weeks during worship I notice you begin to chuckle and once it turns into laughter you place your hands over your mouth as if you were trying to stop laughing. What’s up with that?”
Well, she began to tell me what goes on inside herself during worship. She said she feels the presence of God so strong and in particular she is filled with such joy and she cannot contain herself. So since she doesn’t want to disturb the worship and others around her, she stifles herself.
So instead of responding at that moment to her stifling herself, I asked, “How do you feel joy?”
She responded, “Well, when I realize that nothing I do can separate me from Him, I am filled with joy. When I realize that He is thrilled with me, it makes me glad. When I consider there is nothing more for me to do, except to thank Him and worship Him, I want to explode with excitement and joy. In other words, I begin to laugh out loud, because that’s what’s going on inside of me. I’m sorry, I just can’t stop!”
I said, “Oh my friend, you have no need to say you are sorry. As a matter of fact, I would love it if we would from time to time simply have a laughter fest during worship.”
I HAVE A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS
Why do we love it if someone begins to cry during worship or goes to the altar weeping before the Lord? Inside we think “oh yes, the Lord is pouring Himself out on them, so keep coming.” We completely love this and except it.
Can we begin to love and except the reality of God working such joy in a person on the inside that it might just start to bubble up on the outside? God can do this, but we need to provide the kind of spiritual climate that allows this much freedom and joy to be displayed. David had no problem jumping for joy before His God.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness (joy),that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever (Psalms 30:11-12 NIV)
I have also noticed that joy is contagious. I was walking to the front to speak just after an intense time of worship. About the time I arrived at the front I heard two girls on the right side quietly laughing, as if they were attempting to not be too loud.
As they caught my eye I could tell they were attempting to stifle their joy all the more. I think they thought I was going to give them the “evil eye” and tell them to stop because it was time for me to speak.
As I looked at them I said, “Are you feeling the joy of your salvation?”
Well, they lost it all the more and they started laughing more and more. As I said laughter is contagious. Some people around them began to laugh and before long half of the place was enjoying the presence of God. Most were experiencing God in ways that they had never experienced Him.
As I chatted with some of them after the service, none were apologetic. They commented that they felt free and alive and they expressed they had never felt such a presence of God in their lives before.
Joy really is fruit designed to make “Living Lighter Today” a reality.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Has there ever been a time where public or privately, you felt such joy from God that you could sense His presence? I would love to hear from you.