“God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
I laughed ’til I cried; well, at least until my eyes watered; I laughed out loud;
I shook while I laughed and then I laughed at me laughing…I guess there is just no telling what will do it. Laughter comes when it comes, even at the most inappropriate times; hilarious, cynical, sarcastic; from gentle chuckles to heart-thumping, eye-watering,never-ending fits.
But to laugh at God?
Of all the lessons we may learn from the life of Abraham and Sarah, about faith and doubt, about the consequences of taking matters into our own hands, of searching for our own solutions to whatever ails us instead of trusting God’s promises, their experience of laughter speaks to me.
I have tried to remember my reaction the first time I read their story in any serious way; was I embarrassed? I felt such sympathy for this couple whose laughter got the better of them at such an important time in their lives.Was I afraid for them? What would God say; what he would do?
Now, I just think it’s kind of wonderful that God chose to share the moment with us.
(I was tempted to say, ‘share the joke’ but that might be a step too far, do you think?)
Abraham laughed at God’s promise; Sarah laughed and tried to deny it, as if that was possible. But God pretty much overlooked their laughter (their doubt); he kept his promise and when the great day came and the dazed couple held their promise in their arms and named him Isaac (he laughs) I don’t doubt for a moment that they laughed, probably ’til they cried, or that God and all of heaven, possibly, laughed with them.
God takes our doubts seriously and so must we, but, in repenting from them, we remember Abraham and Sarah who laughed at God and still found him faithful.
‘As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.’ Psalm 103:13-14