I recall reading in the Bible when Abraham was told that Sarah would have a child. She laughed. I remember when I read that I thought: How rude! How could she laugh when God told her something would take place? I mean when the God of the entire universe says something is going to happen, then something is going to happen.
Years latter I understand a little bit better. Sarah was old, but not only was she getting older by the day, but she had also probably exhausted herself in praying for the one thing she wanted most: a child. We can tell that her faith was slowly fading in the fact that she gave Hagar to Abraham, she reasoned within herself that perhaps this is the way God would fulfill his promise to them. Sarah had gone through so much and she was tired of what she thought was false hope. So she laughed.
In our lives, if we are honest it can be much the same. We have God’s promises through His word, and yet we encounter hardship after harship, storm after storm…with no sign of it ever stopping. A dear friend pointed out that Jesus said that in this life we would have trials (so God did not lie to us, He warned us that we would have plenty of hard times). The soul however grows tired. The burdens we each carry become unbearable. We can’t take another step (or so we think). Yet Jesus also said to come to Him with our heavy burdens and that He will give us rest.
Doubts assail us with each new trial, and with the doubt comes guilt, for we should have faith, not doubt, right? But my opinion is that God is not fooled, He knows our hearts. Yes, we need to have faith, but He knows that we grow tired, He knows that our hope has faded. So what next?
I have also read so much and heard so many ‘prosperity’ preachers preach…and their sermons quite honestly make me sick. They make it sound like we need to be happy all the time. They make it seem that if we give our ten percent we will not encounter trials…only blessings. Somehow when I read the Bible I see how false these preachings are. I mean look at the disciples, do you think they were always happy? Always smiling? Never hungry? Never feeling pain? I don’t see that. I see them crying for those in need, I see them being persecuted time and again. I don’t think they were always happy. But they did look up. By that I mean they looked to Him who would help them finish the hard, breathtaking race. They depended on Him. They said His grace is sufficient.
However this world has a way of making us forget that this is not our home. The world makes us forget that we race towards heaven, not towards the false prosperity this world offers. We forget that our ultimate destination is Heaven, not finding ‘true love’ (in human terms), it is not just paying our bills, publishing our books, advancing in our possitions at work, etc. Yes these are very real desires to make life more bearable…but it is not our ultimate goal. This life when compared to unending eternity is just a dot, one small dot that soon will be over.
So when God comes and tells us that all be alright. When God tells us that He Himself will provide. That He will be the love of our lives….we laugh. Because we can’t see any more hope, none at all, for we have tried everything humanly possible. So we laugh. Yet given time, we will see, that despite our rude laughing and unbelief, God still is a promise keeper…then we will remember how we laughed, and then we will laugh with joy at the wonder of God’s mercy.