Daily Devotional – March 04, 2023

Daily Devotional – March 04, 2023
February 24, 2023 Lighthouse Network


Focus your thoughts on this passage of scripture:
“ . . . the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10


Luke 6:21
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh!”
Psalm 2: 1-6 (MSG)
1-6 Why the big noise, nations?
Why the mean plots, peoples?
Earth-leaders push for position,
Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks,
The God-deniers, the Messiah-defers:
“Let’s get free of God!
Cast loose from Messiah!”
Heaven-throned God breaks out laughing.
At first he’s amused at their presumption;
Then he gets good and angry.
Furiously, he shuts them up:
“Don’t you know there’s a King in Zion? A coronation banquet
Is spread for him on the holy summit.”
Psalm 30: 11-12
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.


Showered in Embarrassment

All of us had them: One of those times when we’ve embarrassed ourselves. For me one happened at 11 years old on a family camping trip at one of the small “primitive” cabins on Cayo Costa Island.

The cabins provided only shelter. Inside there was a wooden frame on which to place a sleeping bag and a picnic-styled table where we would eat. Everything else, lanterns and stoves, bedding and food had to be brought in.

The island was remote — accessible only by boat and uninhabited except for those families that rented cabins. There was no running water. Water was drawn from a hand pump. There was also no electricity and therefore, no fans or air conditioning.

The only relief from the sweltering heat was the breeze coming off the nearby water. To take advantage of that breeze, huge screened windows were cut into all four sides of each of the cabins. The windows were covered by wooden shutters that could be lowered or raised for privacy. Daily rains, each afternoon, also helped.
One day during a family camping trip I decided to use such a downpour to take a shower in the rain. I opened the cabin door and although I knew we were one of the few people on the island, I carefully looked around.

To my delight, I saw that all the neighboring shutters had been lowered to keep out the rain. It was only then that I ventured out into the rain with nothing but a bar of soap and a plastic bag holding my towel.

The rainwater was cool and refreshing. I felt the thrill and freedom of doing something normally forbidden. It was wonderful. So wonderful that I began to sing. It seemed perfect — even the storm seemed to cooperate with my shower — the rain subsiding just in time for me to rinse the last suds away.

Then, as I reached for my towel I heard the sound of laughing. I looked up to discover that the seemingly empty cabin across the road, the one with shutters previously down, now had a whole family occupying it. Mom, Dad, junior and sis peered out of the window.

At the time, I was mortified. They laughed. I didn’t. I quickly ran inside to escape their gaze, filled with embarrassment.

Now, as I think of that day, I laugh too. Then, I felt alone and foolish. Now, I’m aware that I am part of a great tide of humanity that does silly things. It is a part of growing up to see our mistakes and foibles in the light of our humanity.

So, I can laugh. Then, I sought to hide my mistake. Now, I tell it in the assurance that others will understand and find humor in it.

It was a small event but it points to a larger truth. Our shortcomings can either drive a wedge between us and others or it can draw us closer together.

Certainly, it can be painful to be “seen” for the bumblers we, at times, can be. Yet, if we seek to hide our faults and imperfections out of embarrassment we may be “safe” but we are likely never to be connected to others.

Learning to take ourselves less seriously, to put down our defenses, and perhaps even laugh at ourselves is one tool of connecting with others. Spiritual and emotional maturity looks like allowing our shortcomings to draw us closer to God and others.

Maturity is coming to the point where we can laugh at ourselves. It springs out of confidence in God’s grace and a self-perception steeped in humility. The opposite is defensiveness, pretense, blame or self-condemnation.

Perhaps this is the reason that Evagrius, the monk who first penned the “seven vices and virtues,” included “Hilaritas” among the virtues. It is the reason that others have written that “in hell there is no laughter.”

It is the reason why the old gospel song, “When I Shall read My Title Clear,” looks forward to joining heaven’s joy and says, “Then I shall laugh at Satan’s darts, and wipe my weeping eyes.” It is the promise of scripture that tells us that God will turn our “weeping into laughter.”

Sometimes, I imagine what heaven will be like when all of our blunders are over. I wouldn’t be surprised if, after a couple of thousand years of marveling in the goodness and greatness of God, we might not spend the next few hundred looking back over our lives and joining all the saints in one long belly laugh.


Questions to Consider

  1. Do you have an embarrassing moment that you can now laugh at? What has changed that allows you to laugh now?
  2. When you make a blunder how do you most often react?
  3. Hide it or deny it
  4. Blame others or become defensive
  5. Become self-condemning
  6. Admit it and laugh at yourself
  7. Other?
  8. What might your response to making a silly mistake tell you about yourself and your spiritual/emotional growth?


Jesus, you came to this earth and took on the flesh of bumbling humanity. Teach me to laugh in joy at the pretensions of human flesh until, by your grace, I can marvel at Your goodness and rejoice in my transformation. Amen.

Rev. James R. Needham, PhD, MDiv

Comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get help now! Call (844) 543-3242