It isn’t often that reading scripture makes me laugh out load. But the words I read on this particular Monday had me smiling joyfully.
“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Genesis 17:17
Abraham was with God, and fell on his face laughing! The scriptures prior to this one tell us God was speaking to Abraham (Genesis 17:15 Then God said to Abraham…”). He and Abe were obviously hanging out together, because later, we see that God left Abraham (Genesis 17:22).
Abraham was before God, and laughing at what He said! That is not what I expected to read after “fell on his face.” God had been telling Abraham in the earlier verses about the covenant between them, and how He would multiply Abraham exceedingly. Abraham fell on his face before God during this conversation – probably in humility, as well as awe and reverence of God Almighty.
God goes on to tell Abraham that he will be the father of nations and kings would come from him. He lets Abraham know that He will bless Sarah, give Abraham a son by her, and she will be the mother of nations. Kings will come from her.
At this point, Abraham chuckled! Not only that, he doubts God by asking himself “I’m 100 and Sarah’s 90 – is it possible we can have a child??”
Really Abraham? You are in the presence of almighty God, and you don’t think He can HEAR your thoughts? He’s right there with you – don’t you know He’s listening??
THEN, Abraham tries to make sense of God’s plan, and help Him out, saying, in essence “Can’t You let Ishmael be my heir?”
How many times do we do this same thing? When God gives us an assignment that is bigger than we are, something that is hard and tough, we laugh and giggle nervously. Then we think “There is NO WAY I can do that! That’s impossible”
I try and rationalize God’s plan. How about you? I try and reason it out and work around it. Just like Abraham with Ismael.
“Lord, wouldn’t it work better this way? Wouldn’t it be easier?”
Where is our faith?
In the rest of the story, we see that Abraham is obedient to follow God’s covenant. God blesses him with a son called Issac. And Abraham is listed in the faith Hall of Fame found in Hebrews 11:8.
It’s so very comforting to know that a Biblical patriarch like Abraham had doubts about God’s plan. He found God’s way laughable and next to impossible. He chucked over it in front of God. And yet, he obeyed.
The next time God calls you to something bigger than yourself, something that you cannot even imagine could be possible, go ahead: Laugh.
Then, do it! And remember this:
Peter walked on water.
What step of faith will you take this week in response to God? Leave a comment, I’d love to pray for you!
What steps of faith have you already taken? How has God been faithful to equip you? Leave a comment – I would love to hear your story!
Grace be with you,
loretta gjeltema says
I’m learning this lesson! Thanks for sharing Ellen.
Me too, Loretta! Why is something that sounds so simple, end up being so incredibly hard to do?? Thanks for visiting today!
debbie Wilson says
Ellen, Laugh, then do it. I love your take on this. Yes, some assignments sock us in the gut. Others make us laugh incredulously.
Yes, Debbie, and I’ve had both! Thanks so much for visiting!
Sabra Penley says
As you’ve heard me say before, Ellen, God keeps telling me to write my book. And, yes, I’m one who keeps asking how I can possibly do it. But God just keeps telling me to do it. So…please pray that I will step out in faith, knowing He’s behind it, and get busy–one step at a time. Thanks for your words of encouragement. And for your prayers!
Oh, Sabra, I hear you! I believe I have a book in me too – perhaps just for me and God, but still a book. I have no idea how to go about getting it out of me! But if He has called us to it, He knows we can do it in His power! Yes, one small step at a time!!Praying for those words to flow, sweet friend!
This is such a wonderful reminder of God’s amazing work in our lives, Ellen! He always has more than we ever imagined planned when we walk in obedience. Wonderful!
He certainly does! Thanks so much for your encouragement and sharing this! I have be “unplugged” lately – which is not a bad thing…
Our God Who makes Possibilities of Impossibilities!
True Cecille! I am over on your sight now – haven’t finished reading, but I love it!