In Genesis 18:11-14 we read; “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore, Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
What would you think, how would you view such a promise if, despite the fact that you received it from the Living God Himself, you were ageing rapidly and approaching the century mark? Would you still hold onto a promise such as this if your wife were nearly ninety years old? Sarah had no hope of ever bearing a child! She was no longer fertile! What was promised was an impossibility.
Sarah might have laughed but her words spoke volumes. She describes herself as “worn out,” maybe she feels that God can do no more with her. You don’t have to be ninety-one to feel that you are worn out. To feel that not even God can do anything with you, to feel that you are hopeless.
Sometimes when we laugh its not because we are happy or because we have seen something really funny but it’s because we are feeling cynical or bitter about life. You know the expression, “If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry?” That seems to be the sort of laughing that Sarah does here.
What makes you laugh? Abraham and Sarah laughed at God’s ridiculous promise that Sarah would have a child in her old age. Their cynical laugh was not unfounded as it came from a place of shame and disappointment. Yet, God demonstrated that His desire is to transform our laughter into the laughter of hope.
How many times have we found ourselves laughing in those awkward moments in our lives to relieve tension? Or have said something silly and inappropriate when it would have been better not to say anything at all. We often wish we could take it back.
There are many challenges, struggles and surprises along the way of life, but we know we receive strength and character through them. Yes, hope will not disappoint us.