The first time laughter is mentioned in human literature comes from the book of Genesis. It rolls out of the mouths of two senior citizens: a 100-year-old Abraham and his 90-year-old wife, Sarah. They are the recipients of an incredible promise. God guarantees they will receive the two greatest assets in the ancient world: property and children. God bequeaths to them the piece of real estate that has become known as Palestine and assured them that one day it will be filled with their descendants.
There’s only one problem. They don’t have kids and the biological clock is winding down. Abraham first hears this news when he’s 75. After that nothing is mentioned for a long time. Therefore, Sarah implements her own Plan B. She says, “The Lord has kept me from having children, so sleep with my maid servant, perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abraham basically responded, “Honey, you know I’m always willing to do whatever you want me to do.”
Their Plan B is meant to help God out since He is obviously not making the fertility things happen, which is essential to Plan A. They then have a child through the servant named Ishmael.
But it’s never a good idea to usurp God’s intentions. There are no scriptures suggesting we follow God’s plan except when it gets tough or confusing, at which point you can come up with your own plan. Abraham is one of the models of faith, but he flunked the test on waiting for God.
But let’s go easy on Abraham. He has no Holy book, no 10 commandments, no spiritual teachers and no fellow believers. Abraham and Sarah were spiritual pioneers.
God reaffirms Plan A two decades later. God says, “I will return to you in a year and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was eavesdropping on God’s conversation with Abraham and laughs. Then God asks, “Is anything to hard for the Lord?” Guess who has a son 9 months later? Sarah names her son “He laughs,” because God brought laughter into her world.
We may think we are in a situation with no hope and time is running out. But one day, against all odds, we will look back and laugh because nothing is too hard for God.
-Rev Dr William Lewis