Laughing at God!

Oh the sweet lessons of God! There are moments that stagger. I am undone at how our precious Jesus continually displays His inestimable character and wondrous heartbeat for His children. There is a crucial difference in living and serving if a dream does not become reality and laughing at the thought of God providing a blessing beyond, what you deem, your zenith. I am more careful and cautious in my reverence of His will over my life. I am learning to carve out hallowed spaces and kneel barefoot on holy ground before Him. The lesson He taught has ushered me into a season of rejoicing.

I wish we were all sitting around the campfire at this moment. I would love to share this story amidst wood smoke, roasted marshmallows, and amber glow. The stories we could weave and spin. I have a feeling there would be great rejoicing over what God is doing in our lives. In fact, as I type, a thought came to mind – share your ‘campfire story’. If you blog about it make sure that you tag me so I can share in the rejoicing. Or, just share it with someone in your life. Our stories matter. God gives them to us not only to meet our need, but to provide solace and strength to others for, ‘such a time as this’ (Esther 4:14).

            “When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.
            “Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.
            “She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.
            Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son.”
            Sarah was listening to the conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time; and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master – my husband – is also so old?”
            Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
            Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”
            But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.” – Genesis 18: 8-15 NLT

“No, you did laugh.”

I find this translation so poignant. I often view Sarah a bit harshly. Why couldn’t she trust God and his promises? Why did she try to scheme to have her way – having Abraham sleep with Hagar?

In the light of some tender revelation I realize how like Sarah I really am. I look at her heart differently. I see the scope of disbelief that arose there. How could such a hope and a dream actually come to fruition? Possibly Sarah had reconciled herself that this would never be. The lineage of her husband would be through Ishmael. She just couldn’t quite see the purpose or plan that God had for her life.

I can only imagine Sarah’s reaction when she first felt Isaac move. How her heart must have swelled as her womb grew to encompass this promise of God. God is always working in our lives. We are ministers as well as ministered to. It is perfect mystery that we can do both in the same breath…

“We are held by hands that are able to fill us continually. Not just full, but to overflowing. These are hands that will never let us go and we can rest in the promise of their faithfulness.” – David Arms

“You’re not Sarah, but I am still God.”

This statement prevailed in my heart days after the tender conversation with a caregiver.

It began simple enough – chit-chat about the weather, treatment, and the well-being of each person. Then, one of the caregivers mentioned her eight year old son was coming for a visit. As the conversation continued she shared with me that she had him at 40.
I giggled, brushing it off, “Well, that gives me hope!”

The fire danced behind her eyes as she shared her story with me:

I had friends who would put prayers in the prayer box at church asking that God send me husband. I told them, “Well, He certainly isn’t listening”. Finally, I got to the point where I told God if He wanted me to get married He would have to send Him to my doorstep.

She went on to tell me that she met the man she was to marry and within three months they were married. Three months after that she was pregnant. Her brother passed away during this time. What would have been an inconceivable time for her family was softened with the coming birth of her son.

Through this entire conversation I continued to brush her words off as if they were a fly buzzing about my face; not taking to heart the truth of what she was telling me. Then, she said:

God’s timing was perfect! I didn’t understand it, but He did. I was standing in the shower one day, approximately eight months pregnant, 40 years old, and telling God, “I’m not Sarah. I cannot do this.” Without hesitation God spoke over me, “You’re not Sarah, but I’m still God!”

I caught a glimpse of her in the rearview mirror. The Spirit of God lingered over her. It was palpable and it unsettled me.

If you have read my post, A Table for One, you know my tenderness for living purposefully as a single woman. Yet, I had grown too comfortable in that pilgrimage. I was persuaded that God, in fact, would not bring me a husband or children because I was past the point where He would grant that benediction.

The conversation with this caregiver wouldn’t abandon my thoughts. It as if God hummed a tune just for my soul. This is what I gleaned from His refrain:

1.    Not the whole, but in part, I allowed this beautiful creation to go through what she did so she could sit in this van and speak this word over you Melissa - don’t deny her blessing in this by brushing it off!
2.    Your cavalier thoughts as she shared her story were the same as Sarah laughing at me when I told Abraham she would have a child. You were laughing at me, Melissa!
3.    I am still God, my timing is perfect, and I will fulfill my plan in your life!
I will fulfill my plan in your life!

He has ushered me into humble worship and grace. I love when God surprises me. He flips my heart and my thought process into a different skew. I didn’t even realize I was looking at things askew until he set things right. I am subservient and less likely to laugh at how He desires to work in and through me.

I may never get married nor have children of my own. Yet, I no longer will say what God cannot do! My heart’s desire is to say, emphatically, “YES” to what He has for me!!

Never miscalculate what He can do. This, for me, is the beginning of a new wandering. I am just at the cusp of the light cresting across the horizon. I don’t know what He has in store. I am still surprised, standing in awe that I don’t serve a tame or safe God. His holiness, righteousness, and sovereignty are without question.

Holy, holy, holy is His name.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20 KJV


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