Laughing Gas


John 17:20

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

Normally I dread having dental work done. But a recent trip to the dentist to repair a fractured tooth may have permanently changed my attitude. During the appointment, my dentist administered nitrous oxide—commonly known as “laughing gas.” He said it would help relax me. He wasn’t kidding. With just a few deep whiffs, I was off to “la la land,” still conscious but without a care in the world.

I remember thinking, Wow! And it’s legal!

My dentist, who’s a great dude when he’s not poking around inside my mouth, jokingly said that there would be fewer wars in this world if there was a little bit more nitrous oxide in the air. He also joked that little would get done, but nobody would care.

I have to admit, to “not care” sounds appealing. But, after serious thought, it’s not as great as it sounds. Not only would little get done, but to “not care” would severely limit us from connecting with each other . . . and God.

More than anything else, God designed us for connection, the kind of union and closeness that the Trinity has always enjoyed and intends for us to enjoy as well (John 17:20). But if we didn’t care, we would lose touch with our need for close relationships. I counsel people every day who are trying not to care in all sorts of ways. They’re short-sighted in their attempts at protecting themselves from hurt. Sadly, they end up causing more hurt in the long run and cutting themselves off from a source of real comfort and healing.

When we’re hurting, the most important thing we need is connection with others. As we learn to let them come close enough to see our pain and offer comfort, they can then help carry our burdens (Galatians 6:2).

—Jeff Olson  


Read John 13:34 to see the powerful effect of our love and care for other believers in Jesus.


How can you start connecting more with others and with God? What’s holding you back?


woman burned over 60% of her body forgives drunk driver from sharethemessage on godtube.