Some Days All You Can Do Is Laugh
By Dot Bowen
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety? Genesis 17:17 (NIV)
On a recent trip to the beach, I was headed inside to get another cup of coffee when my foot got trapped in the hem of my pants, and I fell face down in the sand. As I got up, I was more worried about the sand in my phone than whether or not someone had actually seen me fall. My sister just happened to be standing in the kitchen when I walked in covered with sand. Like a great sister, she tried to help me wipe off the sand, but she couldn’t stop laughing long enough to actually assist me! I wasn’t upset that she found my sandy face so funny; there really was nothing we could do but laugh. Laughter had a way of soothing the ego that had been left on the beach.
I grew up with a family who loved to laugh. I can remember sitting with my mother as she was fighting cancer, and even in the midst of a sad situation, she would always find a way to giggle. Laughter is truly the best medicine.
Just the other day I was reading in Genesis about another mother who couldn’t help but laugh. Well, actually, she wasn’t a mother yet, but she had been told she would soon become a mother. When a woman has struggled with infertility, there is nothing funny about the situation. And the sweetest words a woman who has dealt with infertility can hear are, “You are pregnant!” — unless she is 90 years old. For many years, Abraham and Sarah had been waiting for God to fulfill His promise to give them a child. With each passing year and each negative pregnancy test, their hopes faded along with their youthfulness. I encourage you to read their story in Genesis 17. I believe Sarah probably second-guessed what God had told them and thought she was the reason they weren’t able to have children.
Hopelessness can lead to not trusting God. And hopelessness can lead you to believe you must take matters into your own hands. Sarah is a prime example of this when she suggested that her husband Abraham should have a child with another woman. Sarah’s suggestion seems as ridiculous to me as the thought of her having a child at 90.
Desperation will tempt you to not wait on God, but to do what you can to change the situation yourself. When God told Abraham and Sarah He was going to give them a child, they laughed. But not trusting God is no laughing matter. They looked at their age and came to the conclusion that Sarah having a child was impossible. God takes it very seriously when we forget He is the God of the impossible. As they took matters into their own hands, they reaped the consequences of their unbelief. As you read their story in Genesis 17, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I trust God to do the impossible?
- Do I believe God can change my current situation?
- Do I believe God can give me the strength to endure my current situation should He choose not to change it?
- Lastly, if God were to sit by your bed and tell you He could change your situation in the blink of an eye, would you laugh?
To be honest, I ask God every day to give me the faith to trust Him. When I am more focused on how great God is than how difficult things may be, I find myself laughing more and enjoying life to its fullest. Some days the best thing to do is just laugh and trust God even if life doesn’t seem that funny.
Further Reading Genesis 12-Genesis 25 (The story of Abraham)