In our lesson from the Book of Genesis, we have such an endearing story remembered about Sarah, her husband Abraham, and God. This prospect of Sarah becoming pregnant, when she and Abraham are ancient, makes Sarah roll her eyes. She laughs. She laughs to herself, but she is heard.
What’s so sweet in this story remembered in the Book of Genesis is both Sarah’s laughing to herself and her denial of it. Was she embarrassed? We know she was fearful about her laughter? But rather than this being a point of chastisement or rejection by God, Sarah’s laughter seems to strengthen God’s resolve: “You just wait and see!” And, of course, a son is indeed born: Isaac, whose name in Hebrew means laughter. Isaac grows, and Sarah’s laughing is remembered very affectionately. In the Book of Genesis, several chapters following today’s reading, we read of Sarah’s saying to herself, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”[i]
I, too, have gently laughed at various times when someone has told me what is improbable or seemingly-impossible about what I can do or will do. I suspect you have had your own versions of this. What’s significant in those experiences is when the prediction, or the promise, or the prospect being named about us is coming from a credible source, from someone we know and trust, and whom we know loves us. Or sometimes the revelation is coming through something we have come to know and trust – maybe a poem, or music, or a passage of scripture, or some other kind of synchronicity that is familiar and confirming.
The most amazing thing about miracles is that they happen. They still happen. Saint Paul had his own miraculous experiences, repeatedly, which led him to write that “[God’s] power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.”[ii]
Don’t give up. Give in. Give into the reality of God’s magnificent, sometimes amazing work in us and through us. Watch for it. Wait for it.
[i] Genesis 21:5-6.
[ii] Ephesians 3:18-20.
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