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Not a Time to Laugh

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The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18:13-15)


When the three persons of God talked with Abraham, they announced that Sarah would finally conceive. Sarah had waited so long, watching herself become so elderly, she had given up on God’s promise. Now, she could not believe in God’s miraculous power.


We judge Sarah only because we know the outcome and she did not have the same benefit. She isn’t alone. Like Sarah, we laugh at God all the time. Every time we give up on God fixing third-world hunger, or wiping out the threat of nuclear weapons, we laugh at God. When we just accept that men will always feel justified in abusing women, we laugh at God. Or when there is real societal transformation with movements like “MeToo,” and we laugh and say, “it is just a passing phase.”


Our cynicism is an act of disbelieving laughter. We are impatient creatures, and want immediate change. God often takes some time in making change, so we can take the transition time to appreciate the process of God’s miraculous work. Rather than act with arrogant cynicism, we are called to retain the childlike faith of hope, mystery, and miraculous trust.


When we pray, we are saying to God, “I believe in you and your ability to bring miraculous healing to our world. Today, offer God your prayer. It doesn’t matter what you say or leave unsaid. The very act of putting your hands together in prayer tells God that you are not laughing at the Divine, but trusting that all things are possible through our Triune God. Put your hands together and honor your God today!