Abraham and Laughter (23-06-21)
Bible Reading: Genesis 21:1-8
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."
And she added, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children?
Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.
Twenty-five years had passed since God promised that Abraham would be the father of a great nation and now, with Abraham aged a hundred and Sarah aged ninety, they become the proud parents of Isaac. Having been childless, Sarah’s life was filled with laughter; little surprise that they held a great feast to celebrate.
Waiting for something you long for is never easy and it is often tempting to stop trusting God, either by giving up, or by taking matters into your own hands. In the intervening years Sarah had come to a point of giving up while Abraham had initially suggested his servant became his heir, and then produced an illegitimate son through Sarah’s maid (Genesis 15 and 16). In spite of this, God was gracious and kept his promise, in his time.
Is there anything you are hoping for in your life, something that is a long time coming? Have you been tempted to give up or to take matters into your own hands? Will you remain faithful and trust God to work it out in his time, according to his plans?
Grief in life can come in many forms. We usually associate it with the loss of a loved one, but grief is also felt, like Sarah, over the loss of a family she longed for. Grief can also be felt over the loss of a career or the loss of health. Grief is not transient, it doesn’t heal like a cut or a broken bone, it can go on for many years, or even a lifetime, and it often leaves a scar.
Throughout times of grief, God remains with us, sharing our pain. Grief may not always be replaced by joy, as it was with Sarah, but grief and laughter are not mutually exclusive; we can still experience times of laughter and of hope, even amidst the grief, and we can look forward to the greater joy that is ours for eternity.
As the Psalmist promised, ‘Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy’ (Psalm 126:5).
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are with me in times of grief and that you lead me to times of joy and laughter
Help me to be faithful to you as you are faithful to me.
Jesus put this song into our hearts