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Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength. Habakkuk 3:17-18 According to an article from University of Michigan School of Medicine, we can laugh our way to better health. The article highlights that our brain is in charge of things like what we think about and our ability to walk, talk, breathe, and move. Moreover, our brain also produces chemicals that affect everything from how fast our hearts beat to how well we fight off disease? Thanks to something called the mind-body connection, the simple act of laughing can tell our brain to produce chemicals that might • Help your heart work better and pump more evenly. • Boost your body's immune system to help you fight off infection. • Give you more energy, and lower your stress. • Help you make sense of your emotional experiences, improve your mood, and manage your feelings of pain and stress. Scientific research backs this up: The more you laugh, the better you'll feel and the healthier you'll be. In this morning text, the prophet Habakkuk is given a vision of the Judean countryside desolate, perhaps from the invading Babylonian army or perhaps from natural calamity. Amid this vision of calamity, Habakkuk says, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk could not prevent the impending national crisis. Thus he chose to rejoice in the Lord because he knew the power of joy. News about the devastation of COVID-19 has saturated our media and hijacked our attention. Consequently, many people feel depressed or anxious, or desperate, or scared, or overwhelmed. Some people are so busy worrying about their finances or their health or their loved ones, they’ve forgotten to rejoice in the Lord. It’s time to stop watching the news and start watching comedy on television. As mentioned in the article from the Michigan school of medicine, laughter boosts our body’s immune system to help us fight off infection. This past Sunday, a group of comedians did a Coronavirus fundraiser called “Healing Through Laughter.” While we are living in isolation at home and waiting for the storm of COVID-19 to pass, we should rejoice in the Lord. This is not the time for families, or couples, or roommates to be fussing at one another. Now is a time for more laughter. Even if you have lost a loved one, think of the happy times you spent with that person and rejoice. Laughter will help your brain release chemicals that will help you make sense of your emotional experience of losing your loved one, improve your mood, and manage your feelings of pain and stress. Another way we can rejoice in crisis is by singing to the Lord. I listen to worship songs throughout my day so that I can stay in a spirit of worship. I’ve discovered the more I worship God, the better I feel- mind, body, and spirit.

While medical and financial calamity is wreaking havoc in our world, we have to rejoice in the Lord. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, let us laugh more and worship more so we can defeat COVID-19. Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the gift of laughter and the privilege of worship. May we learn to rejoice in you as we go through the COVID-19 crisis.

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