A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.
Not everyone who laughs is happy.
The news of Robin Williams death was a shock. What stunned so many was how could a comedy genius succumb to such sadness that he would take his own life? The question that many would whisper in their own soul was, “If a man who made millions laugh was so depressed to take his life, where is my hope?”
I grew up watching Williams – he was funny and without a doubt a genius; however, I always left the laughter soon after wondering about the darkness of his humor. It seemed as if there was something boiling underneath his smile – you could see it in his eyes – his eyes didn’t seem to smile – they actually seemed full of tears.
There is a poignant moment in “Good Morning Viet Nam” that seemed to capture his sadness the best – the scene when a truck load of soldiers are on their way to battle and his character’s impromptu comedic bit was their last laugh before the horror of war.
My point is, not everyone who laughs is happy.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:4
I fought depression as a young man. Interestingly, it seemed as if I had it all – a beautiful wife, three wonderful children, a home, a successful career – life was good but there was a despair that I fought. My victory over the haunting cloud of depression came from a simple, yet profound truth – I began to show humbled gratitude for all that God had favored in my life. Gratitude for Him – for life – for my family – for everything. Gratitude broke through the despair – the darkness gave way.
That’s been over 20 years ago – even though I’ve had challenging times since then, I’ve never faced the spirit of depression since. My confidence hasn’t wavered. My joy hasn’t abandoned me.
Laughter is good medicine – laugh out loud in gratitude for your life.