Three times that laughter has figured prominently in the life of Sarah . . . first, the mocking laughter of those who ridiculed her for years of barrenness. Then, her own laughter when she heard (and didn't quite believe) the promise of God that in her old age, she would bear a son.
The third time that laughter came to Sarah was when that son was born -- Abraham and Sarah named him "Isaac," which means "he will laugh" or "he laughs."
Surely the tent of the two older parents was a joyful place, ringing with the laughter and squeals of their precious, promised son.
Promised by a God that is a promise keeper. He told her when she was old that she was going to have a son. There have been others in the Bible who had trouble believing God's promises . . . how about Moses, when God told him that he was going to be the person who would deliver the Hebrew nation from the clutches of Pharaoh -- a rough translation of Moses' words could be "I don't think so."
How about Zechariah when the angel told him that he and Elizabeth would have a child? He said about the same thing that Moses did. (Grin)
What God promised Sarah was so incredible, so miraculous, that she couldn't believe it at first. But Sarah was to become the mother of a nation. She saw God' promise fulfilled, in Isaac. And Genesis 21 says that Sarah laughed, too, when he was born. Why not? A happy laugh -- in her arms was proof positive that God keeps His promises.
Yesterday we touched on some of the trials that life hands us; these are ways that life makes us think we might be rejected, or even abandoned. Do we wake up in the middle of the night, with our troubles on our minds, and ask ourselves if we believe God? Do we whine and complain, right alongside Sarah, and say, "I'm too old. I'm tired. I'm too weak......"
Is it easy to hear God calling Sarah's name in this story, but not hear Him calling ours?
We know that it is Satan who will put an idea in our heads like this one: "God loves them, but how can He love me?"
Here is the promise from God: through all of our fears, all of our worries, and all of our weakness, He is still here. He is with us. And He still keeps His promises. How do we know this? There are two important ways to grow our faith. One is to read the Word of God, and the other is to put it into practice. It takes time to grow faith. Sarah waited her whole life to have that baby boy. (She also jumped ahead of God at one point, but that's a story for next week.) Sarah struggled to trust God, just as we do sometimes. But that doesn't stop God from being faithful. And He keeps His promises.
Here are some of His promises to each of us:
I will bless you, Gen. 12:2
I will not fail you, Josh. 1:5
I will heal you, II Kings 20:5
I will guide you, Ps. 32:8
I will deliver you, Ps. 50:15
I will satisfy you, Ps. 132:15
I will help you, Is. Isa 41:10
I will strengthen you, Isa 41:10
I will forgive you, Jer. 31:34
I will love you, John 14:21
Wherever we are in our lives today, God is ready and willing to deliver on a promise He has made. Which one is it? We are so tiny, and our view of things is so small . . . our circumstances may seem just too big.
God is asking us the same question that He once asked a princess. He asked Sarah, and He is asking us now, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"