I’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy stuff this past year. I’ve had major surgery because of my Crohns Disease and I’ve been unable to find a job. It is pretty much the stuff depression is made of but God is teaching me even through this difficult time. Yes, there have been times of meltdowns and screaming and asking, “Why me??” but I always come back to this one truth–God can change the impossible to the possible.
My studies in the Bible have centered around the story of Abraham and his wife, Sarah, lately and I’ve learned a valuable lesson–don’t ever laugh at God’s promises because he will always have the last laugh.
God promised Abraham he would be the father of a great nation but there was one small problem. Abraham had no children. Yet, he took God at his word and believed his promise.
One day some esteemed visitors stopped by Abraham’s tent on the way to investigate a situation in Sodom. As the men sat eating and drinking with Abraham, Sarah overheard a conversation. One of the visitors told Abraham within a year Sarah would have a child. Sarah, hiding behind the tent flap, laughed to herself. She was 89 years old and the thought of becoming pregnant was such an outrageous impossibility she couldn’t help but shake her head and snicker. Then, she heard the visitor outside say, “Why did Sarah laugh?”
Sarah was taken aback because she knew she hadn’t laughed out loud. She peeked around the corner of the tent and said, “I didn’t laugh.” The visitor looked right at her, confronting her lie, and said, “Yes, you did laugh.” He then proceeded to ask her, in Genesis 18:14, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Right at that moment Sarah had a choice. Would she believe with God anything was possible? Could she let go of her cynicism and have complete faith in God’s promises?
We read in Genesis 21 Sarah indeed became pregnant and at the age of 90 delivered a son to Abraham who was 100 years old. Sarah laughs again but this time in joy not disbelief. “God has brought me laughter and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Sarah had laughed derisively at God’s promise but in the end she was laughing with joy, and others joined her, when God indeed turned an impossible situation into a living, breathing possibility.
Life’s experiences can cause us to not accept or embrace God’s promises because we only see the insurmountable impossibility. We laugh to ourselves when someone tells us God will provide our needs or God can heal us or God can change our situation. When we ignore the truth of God’s promises we are laughing at them. We aren’t demonstrating our faith in his ability to change our circumstances. We have a choice at that moment: either accept in complete faith God can do what he says or continue laughing in disbelief.
We limit the power of God when we laugh at his promises but we can watch him change the impossible to the possible when we choose to have complete faith in him. When we take God at his word in the most unlikely, impossible situations and we claim his promises for our life, we can be assured we will be laughing with joy at the end.