Posts Tagged ‘God’s Sense of Humor’



One steamy July afternoon, Steve, Jeremy (our younger son), and I headed to a wedding at our new church. We’d only lived in the community about a month; it was the first nuptials my pastor-husband would perform there.

Jeremy was in college at the time and close to the age of the bride and groom.  He’d already become acquainted with them since our arrival.

The service was simple and relaxed, the gathering intimate. Afterward, a reception was held in the large foyer of the church, providing us an opportunity to visit with members of the congregation.

One young lady chatted with the three of us for quite some time. She laughed easily, and listened well. Her strawberry blond hair, blue eyes, and warm smile added to her charm.

On the way home, I was thinking about our pleasant conversation and said to Jeremy, “I think that cute girl likes you. Otherwise, why would she have talked to us for so long?”

“Oh, Mom.  That would be so weird,” he countered.  “I could never date a girl with the same name as my mother!”

Yes, her name was Nancy. And to make matters worse (as far as Jeremy was concerned) it was Nancy Ann, the same as mine. I had to agree; it was a strange coincidence.

“Besides,” Jeremy continued, “I happen to know she’s dating someone else and, of course, I am going out with Jennifer.”

But guess who broke up? And six or seven months later, Jeremy did ask Nancy out. Eighteen months after that, they were married.




Now we have two Nancy Ann Rueggs in the family.  And it’s been great fun.

First, we joked through the process of creating different nicknames or titles or something so we both wouldn’t swivel our heads or come running when our name was called at family gatherings. We rejected Junior/Senior, the Younger/the Older, and derivatives such as Nanny. We didn’t care for Nancy One and Nancy Two either.

But the bride from the wedding, where we met our daughter-in-law, came up with a clever idea. Nancy could add “2.0” (Two-Point-Oh) to her name, in honor of the graphics design degree she had just earned. The added humor of “Point-Oh” made the nickname acceptable. We didn’t use it often, but it helped in a pinch.

The problem resolved itself when our first granddaughter was born, and I became Nana. Now that derivative I like!

The year after Jeremy and Nancy were married, our daughter, Heather, and her husband, Tim, were married. Steve, Jeremy, Nancy and I flew out to Washington State together for the wedding. The double take on the face of the baggage handler was quite entertaining as he processed one ticket, and then another with the same name. He got a chuckle out of our unique situation.

And then there were the years while we were still members of the same church that Nancy and I would receive cards on each other’s birthdays. No harm done; we’d pass them along to each other with a hug and a giggle.

Now I tell that story because: number one, I love to tell it. The fact Jeremy was so adamant he could never date Nancy, and now she’s his wife, tickles me every time I think about it.

Number two: It’s proof that God does indeed have a sense of humor. He’s not some stern, sullen Being whose supreme pleasure is punishing people or making life difficult.


He’s the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17)—gifts like a sweet daughter-in-law*, a uniquely fun situation, and a humorous story to tell.

Truth is: God designed us to take delight in him, to enjoy his gifts, and even find amusement in those gifts (Ecclesiastes 3:13).




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Thank you, God, for creating humor, and giving us the ability to appreciate the ludicrous, the amusing, the play on words. Thank you, too, for the gift of laughter. I love how a chuckle-inducing story makes us feel good and brings teller and listener together with bonds of understanding. Finally and most important, thank you for coming alongside and augmenting the joy of humor, because “in your presence there is fullness of joy.”

(Proverbs 17:22, Psalm 16:11)


*Actually we have two sweet daughters-in-law, and a delightful son-in-law as well.


(Photo credits:  www.weddingsontheamalficoast.com; Nancy Ruegg, biblepic.com.)


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Our God is magnificent; beyond words to describe, right?  There are no boundaries to his greatness, splendor, and righteousness.

Among his glorious attributes are power and wisdom, grace and mercy, goodness and love.

These lofty thoughts and more about the King of the universe are poetically presented in Psalm 145.

Yet there is at least one attribute of God not directly mentioned in this psalm or anywhere else in scripture.  We have to look at the evidence and infer that, yes, our Heavenly Father has…

…a sense of humor!



Exhibit A:  Creation



Slipping, sliding otters.  Leaping, somersaulting dolphins. Swinging, scratching monkeys.  They make us laugh–might they not bring great pleasure to God, especially since he made them?

And have you ever seen young gooney birds learning to fly?  Their tumbly landings in particular are hilarious!


Exhibit B:  Scripture

Get this:  God spoke through a donkey once to get the attention of a sorcerer named Balaam (Numbers 22, 23).  In case you’re not familiar with the story, I repeat:  The donkey did the talking, speaking the words God gave her (22:19).  Imagine the look on Balaam’s face!  If we had been there, I’m sure we would have been stifling our guffaws.  Might God have been chuckling a bit, too?

In the book of Job, God used the example of an ostrich to help Job understand the Lord’s sovereignty.  As you read this description, visualize the scene as if portrayed in a cartoon.  Give the ostrich a doltish expression to enhance further the humor-factor!



“The ostrich flaps her wings futilely—all those beautiful feathers, but useless!  She lays her eggs on the hard ground, leaves them there in the dirt, exposed to the weather, not caring that they might get stepped on and cracked or trampled by some wild animal.  She’s negligent with her young, as if they weren’t even hers.  She cares nothing about anything.  She wasn’t created very smart, that’s for sure, wasn’t given her share of good sense.  But when she runs, oh, how she runs, laughing, leaving horse and rider in the dust (Job 39:13-18, The Message).

Proverbs also includes a number of lessons taught with humor.

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful face on an empty head” (Proverbs 11:22).

“Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense” (15:2).



“The words of a fool start fights; do him a favor and gag him” (18:6).

“Valuables are safe in a wise person’s home; fools put it all out for yard sales (21:20).

“Like billowing clouds that bring no rain is the person who talks big but never produces (25:14).

(Again, I chose to quote from The Message because Eugene Peterson gives us fresh insight with contemporary spin on scripture.  And he definitely captures the humor, which has always been in the Bible.  It’s just become hidden under the dust of the centuries and the differences between cultures.)


Exhibit C:  Jesus

A number of Jesus’ stories and teachings included humor.  One example is Matthew 23:24.  “You blind guides!  You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel,” he said to the religious leaders.  They were so careful about following unimportant rules, yet ignored important issues like humility and kindness.



Where’s the humor, you ask?  It’s hiding in the translation, from Aramaic to English.  The Aramaic word of gnat is galma; the word for camel is gamla.  Jesus used a play on words!

There are more examples we could enjoy, but that’s enough for one sitting.

And now you may be asking why it matters if God has a sense of humor or not.

The more we know about God, the more we discover to appreciate. The more we appreciate our God, the more we’ll want to be in his company and worship him.

And we are made glad with the joy of his [delightful, cheerful] presence (Psalm 21:6).


(art & photo credits:  www.jimkane.wordpress.com; http://www.wikimedia.org; http://www.pixabay.com; http://www.wikimedia.org (2).)


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