Gen 21:6 Now Sarah said, God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me. (NRSV)
Now one of my favourite stories in the bible is that of Abraham. It’s filled with drama.
And there are a lot of stories. If you want to explore more, look at from Genesis 12-23. But my focus is on selected verses from Genesis 12, 15,16,17,18 and 21.
So here goes.
So God called Abraham (his name was Abram then) in Chapter 12 and asked him to go a foreign land. He promised to make him a great nation and to bless all nations through him. Fair enough. Only one problem. His wife Sarah (initially Sarai) was barren. So they had no children. That sounds pretty ridiculous right? Why promise to make a man with no children the father of many nations?
Anyway, Abraham actually leaves and goes to settle in Canaan. And he doesn’t own anything there yet. Until the burial plot he bought to bury Sarah in. But that’s not the focus of the meditation.
So, in Chapter 15, God appears to Abraham again and promises him a son. Abraham believes God and it is reckoned to him as righteousness. Then, in Chapter 16, his wife suggests that he impregnates their maid so they can have a son by her. He does that and Ishmael is born with Hagar the maid as his mother.
Now God comes back in Chapter 17 and tells Abraham that it is Sarah who will give him a son. Really? I loved Abraham’s response! He fell on his face, laughed and asked if a son could be born to a 100 year old man and a 90 year old woman. (Well, that’s what actually happens in the end anyway). Anyway, God even adds that the child is to be called Isaac: He laughs (guess God wanted to have the last laugh!)
Then in Chapter 18, God comes to visit Abraham and tells Sarah that He will come back in a year’s time and she will have a son. She also laughs! But denies when God confronts her about her laughter.
Then in Chapter 21, we read that God did for Sarah as he promised. She actually has a son whom they name Isaac: He laughs! That is when Sarah cannot help but exclaim: God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.
So now lessons:
God knows you and loves you. That may sometimes be hard to believe but He really does.
He has a plan for you. It may take a long time but trust Him. Abraham was 75 years when God called him. Isaac was born 25 years later. Trust God.
Don’t be afraid to talk to and dialogue with God. There’s nothing you do that surprises Him. He is able to take any sorrow and turn it into laughter for His name sake. May that be your story!
And finally, build your relationship with Him.
There are many more lessons. I’d encourage you to visit the bible and glean them for yourself. Ciao!
Angela Azumah Alu, 3/1/18, Legon