The Stork Arrives
And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
Genesis 21:6 KJV
Life holds many surprises but none greater than what happened to an elderly Jewish couple long ago. It is a story worth considering. Sarah’s conception was a shock to both her and Abraham. For many long, and agonizing years, they had traveled through life with no child to call their own. Hope had withered and died on the vine with each passing month. Regardless of the promise of God the last thing she expected was to be changing diapers. Her hope of giving birth had died with her womb and it was a topic her husband no doubt avoided like a smarm of locusts. But all that changed when three visitors showed up at the door of Abraham’s tent. A strange sort of comic relief had arrived at last with the unexpected announcement.
After a hastily prepared meal the three men sat in the shade of a large tree and spoke with Abraham about the future. As Sarah milled about the entrance to their tent she overheard some astonishing news. About this time next year, she and Abraham would have a child of their own. Sarah’s response was certainly understandable; she laughed.
Hidden from view, her laughter included a heavy dose of anger and frustration toward the Lord. Sarah scoffed at the prediction of these three visitors as idle chit-chat from men who should have known better than to raise her hopes. Unfortunately, they heard her laugh. Caught in a moment of deep unbelief Sarah recoiled. However, any attempt to deny her mocking laughter feel flat and she stood guilty as charge. “Is anything too had for God,” they asked.
Enter Act Two. One year later as she sat in her tent nursing her new-born son she began the laugh again but this time it was different. This time she laughed for joy at the arrival of her child and announced that all who heard of his birth would laugh with her. They named him Isaac, which means laughter. Two different laughs but with a distinctive difference.
Before we recognize the God of heaven as the one true sovereign with chuckle at the idea that a penniless Carpenter from Nazareth can make any difference in our lives. With a quiet, mocking laughter, we set Him aside as irrelevant. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” There is no use denying it, we have all weighed him in the balance, and found him lacking. But then comes the great day when we bend our knees to the One who died for us, and the mocking laughter turns to joyous laughter just as in the case of Sarah. So, which laugh are you experiencing today. Jesus is truly the One who brings us joy that erupts into an eternal belly laugh.