Friday, June 15, 2012

Sarah's Laughter

The story of Abraham and Sarah has captivated me for several years. Honestly, I've been much more intrigued by him than her. But as I was thinking about Sarah today, God's grace once again was evident.

If you're familiar with the story at all, you know God had promised Abraham and Sarah a son. After years and years of waiting, it appeared that God might not make good on His promise. After all, they were in their nineties. A little too old to be having children {quite the understatement, I know}. But as the Lord spoke to Abraham one day, Sarah was eavesdropping:

The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

I love that Sarah laughed. And not a funny, ha-ha kind of laugh, but a how-ridiculous-is-that kind of laugh. A mocking laugh. To say Sarah was a little skeptical and cynical might be another understatement. Can you just picture her inside her tent, listening to the conversation going on outside? When she heard that she'd have a son within a year, I bet she rolled her eyes and shook her head! What I think is interesting is that Sarah laughed to herself. Apparently, she didn't laugh loudly or boisterously, but God being God heard her anyway and asked Abraham why she laughed.  

I love His next question: Is anything too hard for the Lord? Then He restated what He'd already promised. By that time Sarah had apparently stepped out of the tent and was denying her laughter. I imagine it more like this: Who? Me? I didn't laugh. I don't know what you're talking about. His reply was true, gentle and swift: No, but you did laugh. And with that, the awkward situation was over.

But the promise...oh, the glorious promise...was just beginning! You see, it didn't matter that Sarah was old, that her faith waivered, that she was cynical, or that she lied. God had a plan, and it didn't depend on Sarah. His plan was to use her to fulfill His covenant promise.

How many times have we thought our circumstances or our behavior could put a halt to God's plans and promises? How many times have we rolled our eyes, laughed, and said to ourselves, God surely doesn't mean me?

I'm so thankful God's grace and His promises don't depend on us!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. I bet I don't even know how many times I've done that.