I just want to start off with a tiny little confession, this blog post may or may not be [read: is] about 80% plagiarised. I’ll explain. The title for starters; as perfect as it is, and you will see why in a moment, I didn’t come up with it myself. I saw a devotion with the same title on the Bible App, and like I said it was so fitting for what I want to talk about today, so I stole it. Then comes the actual content of the blog; here is where Turn It In would absolutely embarrass me. But the thing is, a friend and I were having a discussion about my previous post, and as she was relaying back to me her thoughts on the posts and other thoughts she was having or had after reading my post, I couldn’t help but think what she was saying needed to be shared. It was sooo good you guys; she literally was just dropping actual wisdom nuggets. So I said to her, “girl you have to write a post for us on the blog and say exactly what you just said”, and you know what she said to me? she said “no”, so I mean what other choice did I have. I had to steal it. So this is me giving credit where it’s due and letting you know that not all the thoughts in this post are mine, they belong to a great mind who one day (even though she doesn’t know it yet) will write a post for the blog.
So anyway, a little context — my last post was about how what you are currently going through right now, that deep longing, suffering, disappointment, pain, confusion etc is the perfect condition for a miracle, and as much as it is annoying to hear because who really wants to suffer through so much, it’s also amazing because it means that you are in a unique position to be truly touched by God. You are in a position for Him to do something so unbelievably big in your life that only He can do. There are so many things through the guidance of the Holy Spirt that we can “do on our own”, He’s given us skills, talents, wisdom, good Godly council etc, so often times we can figure whatever it is out, but if you are in a position where you have tried absolutely everything and can not for the life of you figure out what is going on or how it will end, then my friend you are being set up for a miracle. For a miracle to happen, you have to reach the end of yourself, you have to be in a place that seems absolutely hopeless; you have to be in a place where you seem to be facing the impossible and then and only then can you truly understand the power of God over your situation when He turns it around for you. And so when I was explaining this in my post I mentioned what an absolutely impossible situation Abraham and Sarah were facing, and this is what my friend went on to discuss with me, and the part that particularly touched me was the part about Sarah’s laughter. My friend was saying “… when the angels visited Abraham, they tell him, in Sarah’s own hearing, that Sarah will have a son this time next year, but she is so full of skepticism that has been built up over the years that she laughed..” and I thought about how relatable that actually is. Her laughter. I’ve been there when friends have been trying to encourage me about a situation pertaining of course to the promises of God that are yet to be fulfilled, that I have just laughed, and you know that laugh that’s not even a laugh but like a “ha, yeah, sure”, that laugh of disbelief, of doubt. That laugh that really does say, I’ve been through this, I’ve been through having hope for my situation to turn around, I’ve been through having an expectation of God to change it, I’ve been through believing for this and praying about this… but look I’m still here. So, lol!
And my guess is, we’ve all laughed like Sarah in the face of God’s promises. Not because we don’t trust Him who makes them, but because of how unfulfilled they seem to be in our own lives. The thing is with Sarah, God didn’t make them that promise for the first time on that very day, it was not the first time she heard of Gods big plans for Abraham, unfortunately for her, she had probably only really heard it from Abraham because God had told Abraham. So for all Sarah knew Abraham could have actually just been hearing God wrong the whole time and just making things up, because the only evidence she had to go on was that year after year this thing Abraham had told her about being a father to many nations was just not happening. I mean for this promise to be fulfilled, she needed to be involved right, Abraham has no womb, and yet, nothing. And can I just add salt to the injury? Which if I can be honest is something that always happens to me when I’m going through something; salt just gets thrown into my wounds all the time, and for Sarah the salt is that it seemed like everyone around her could have children. I mean out of desperation and probably a show of anger to God, she gave her hand maid to Abraham to have a child for them (I’m not saying that she didn’t want it to work) but low and behold it did, Hagar fell pregnant. And this is our lives, it often seems like the promise belongs to everyone else but us. That that very thing you desire, or that you are praying and fasting for seems to just fall on other peoples laps so easily, and you wonder “what am I doing wrong?” “What do I need to do differently?” “what sins have I forgotten to atone for?” — because everyone around you is getting theirs… you’re praying for a husband/wife, everyone around you is getting married, you’re praying for children, everyone around you is having babies, you’re praying for a promotion, everyone around you is getting promoted, you’re praying for a breakthrough in your business, everyone around you is starting up exciting business which take no time to flourish, you’re praying to be more financially stable, everyone around you is financially independent in ways you wish you could be…. and that’s that salt. It’s one thing to feel like God is taking time with you and then to feel like on top of that, He is busy doing so easily for others what for some reason seems to be a quadratic equation for Him when it comes to you. It can get overwhelming, and so yes, Sarah’s laughter makes so much sense.
But I guess when you are on the outside looking in, it might not make a lot of sense at all actually. The angles had just brought good news, because until that point the promise was just that they would have a child, but now there was a date and time to it. That should have been so exciting to Sarah, I mean finally, an answer. Imagine God just giving you a date and time to all your unanswered prayers right now? The joy! But Sarah got that and laughed, and not out of joy but disbelief. And again, that is so relatable, because I can imagine that going ages just carrying around unanswered prayers must bring you to a place of acceptance at some point. Sarah was way past her child bearing years, in fact she actually said as much when she laughed, she said: “after I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”, so I’m sure she had reached a point where she accepted that maybe being a mother wasn’t for her. And that may sound like a good place to be, acceptance; but the journey to acceptance is not easy. Sarah tried on her own, nothing; she tried to fix it with Hagar, it failed; and this while she’s almost ninety years old…. so all the hope, heartbreak, disappointment, anger must have ran so deep through all those years, and feeling all of that is what she had to go through to reach acceptance. And now here are the angles telling her to still have hope? Ah. That sounds like a mammoth task to me too. Having hope when it’s hard, is hard, and my friend was saying that sometimes we just get to a point where we are tired of hearing the encouragement, and the prophecies, and the “it will happen”, “God is coming through for you” and “your breakthrough is right around the corner,” because when you’ve been facing something, or rather let me say the same thing, year in and year out, feeling like God is not hearing you, or has forgotten you, there feels like there is nothing else you can do but just accept, RE: stop having hope. And I agree 100%. After everything, you just become so exhausted and you don’t want to face the disappointment again.
But because God, Sarah’s story didn’t end there. She didn’t laugh, get punished for it, and then not receive her blessing. Which shows me that He is so good and understands what we deal with emotionally when go on some of these journeys with Him. Because guys, Sarah didn’t just laugh, she also lied and said she didn’t.. but that didn’t get in the way of God doing what He said He would do. That didn’t change Gods mind, and make Him say “well, okay, for that, forget it then. No baby for you.” He kept His promise. I truly believe having faith, believing and just trusting God through what seems like the impossible is key, but I also truly believe that He knows exactly what we are going through as we wait, and that we will want to throw in the towel or doubt Him, or even laugh in the face of His promise, but in those times His grace is sufficient. He doesn’t change His mind about you or about the promise He made you during that time. It reminds me of this saying someone taught me which goes, “if God said it, I believe it, that settles it!” which to me basically means God doesn’t lie, and so if He said it, you can trust and believe that it’s going to happen. So, what He said to you about that situation, will happen. When I said Sarah’s story didn’t end there, in reality it didn’t; to her laughter the angles responded “is anything too hard for the Lord” and that is where all our stories should end, with the knowledge that nothing is too hard for the Lord. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been waiting for something, how many other plans we’ve made to get it, how impossible it seems, or out of our grasp or out of our control it is.. nothing is too hard for the Lord. It may not makes sense why He then just won’t do the thing that’s so easy for Him to do, but my friend also said during our discussion that He won’t put us through things for no reason (and that’s a whole other discussion for another day) but knowing that, and knowing how good God is, you know that your testimony at the end of your trial, will be amazing. So laugh all you want, but that breakthrough is coming.