He gave me laughter!-Meditations on Genesis 21:6

He gave me laughter!-Meditations on Genesis 21:6

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

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About the need for memory and writing

About the need for memory and writing

 

 

Psalm 102:18New International Version (NIV)

18 Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord: (Biblegateway.com)

Lord, there are many times when I forget what you have done. Many times when I forget the battles you have won for me and end up repeating the same things.

Help me to celebrate every memory; every victory; every journey.

Teach me always that the journey is the reward not the destination alone and help me to enjoy every journey until I finally see you face to face.

As you have reminded me recently, I am very wealthy in memories. Help me to celebrate. And help me never to settle or try to do it by myself. May my trust in you only grow daily.

Thank you Lord Jesus.

I pray for the discipline to obey your word to me to write so that future generations may praise you.

On anticipation and planning

On anticipation and planning

I’m a serial planner…..that’s me. I love to tick things off my list. It makes me feel in control of my circumstances…no matter how small. I feel productive and feel like I’m making a difference. I think, it’s a carry over from the melancholic side of me trying to control the sanguine. I’m sure there may be lots of reasons assigned for why that may happen anyway.

Well, the point of this article is actually the opposite of the title. It’s not about planning. So though, my rational melancholic side will vouch for planning….from planning my days to weeks to months to years….and do my best to achieve them, I have found out and continue to find out that “best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley”. To wit, the best laid plans of Angie do not often happen.

I have found out that for the things that do not happen as I wish, especially where God is concerned, I get much better than I ever expected although it doesn’t even seem like that in the beginning. And yet sometimes, because I have already made up my mind, I get very disappointed when I do not get what I planned for and do not see what God has given me. I have spent many a time crying over things which I realized only made me stronger in the end and were much better than what I asked.

So what brought on this article? A rather interesting discussion is going on with myself and a friend about life choices. I don’t quite get why it started but I seem to have taken the view that planning is the all and he’s coming from the perspective of not being bogged down by your choices.

This evening, one of my girl friends put up a update on our whatsapp page. Our outreach to St. Catherine’s SHS (which I have already prepared my talk for and cancelled a funeral for) will not come off. Well, two ways of looking at it: either get disappointed that it won’t come off or appreciate the free Saturday and make the best of it.

There are many more examples of things that do not go exactly as we planned and of situations in which what we end up with is even better than what we planned for. So what’s my point in all of this?

That by all means plan and prepare….in fact commit your ways to God but by all means remember that by His sovereign will He knows what is best for you and thus will lead you there if only you give Him first place in your life. And because He knows the end from the beginning, He’s the best person to trust your life with.

Is there anything that is too hard for Him? No there is nothing. Do you think your sins impossible to forgive? They are not. Remember He forgave David for coveting, adultery, bearing false witness and murder. Will He not forgive you if you turn to Him? Do you think your sickness  is impossible to heal? No, it is not. He is the divine healer. Are your children wayward and you feel God cannot bring them back? Guess who the father of prodigal you and I is? He is more than able. Do you feel abandoned by Him? He promises never to forsake us. Only turn to Him. There are many more examples I could give but remember there is nothing that is too hard for Him. Only turn to Him and see how lavish His mercy is.

Peace.

Angela Azumah Alu
9/9/16, Legon

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Image courtesy of: https://8-images.blogspot.com/2014/03/trust-in-lord-with-all-your-heart-and.html