Not much good comes of eavesdropping. In Sarah’s case, not only did she get caught, she got exposed. Deep longing, weary of standing fast, she had let go of the child dream. Arms long-empty found other things to hold. But that didn’t stop the missing, the aching, the longing for a role she could never have…mother. Her laughter on hearing the angels prophesy a son for her was a familiar composite of ache, anger, defeat, and resignation.
You know the feeling. Someone speaks lightly of a sore place and our response is sharper, more cynical, and less full of belief than we would like. What we see most clearly then is the far-reaching path ahead without the comfort of what we want. “You’ll have a son by this time next year.” “Yeah, right.” Our laughter is bitter, off-putting and uninviting. It only sees what it doesn’t have.
Then one day she woke up nauseous. Then again and again. When she couldn’t tie her belt so securely around her waist, the first stirring of “miracle” peeped up through the dark ground of her heart. When her belly swelled full of new life, the sky was bluer, Abram nicer, food better. The world was full of possibilities once more. When she couldn’t sleep well because her baby took up all her space, she began to get giddy. A miracle was happening now!
When their son emerged, new tears washed old laughter clean, freeing the longing… meeting it, gifting it, transforming it from bitter to deep joy. Life from death. Constraints of physical law set aside. But what she knew just then, as she kept touching her baby’s face and counting his toes, was utter immersion in wonder. And she laughed.
How fitting, how eye-opening, that God Himself named her son, “Laughter!” Israel’s story begins with the impossible coming true…with wonder, delight, and finally…belief.
Which kind of laughter belongs to you?
ACTION: What are the “impossibles” of your story? How has God brought life from death, beauty from ashes? Our invitation to you today is to immerse in your life stories, remembering how God transformed and is still transforming the bitter places in you. Perhaps choose one that catches your attention, letting the impossible be what it is, and the miracle of new life peeping through the delicious blossoming of possibility and wonder.
‘Til Christ is formed in you…