Day 6 – December 6
Ornament – Ram or Baby Issac
Intrigue, suspense and breathtaking rescues fill the story of Abraham and Sarah. Most of their adventures came through God’s invitations while others were impassioned retrievals after they sought God’s will, their way.
Over every mountain and through every valley there was a theme, a thread. For even when they forgot, God did not. The meaning of their impossible possibility danced within the stars and was laced throughout every grain of sand. And it was hidden like a gem within a word that popped into their story like an exclamation point over and over.
Laughter. This word appears five times within their journey, sometimes as a reaction to an impossible idea, other times as a response to an impossible God. Five is number that speaks of fruitfulness and fulfillment. And for them, laughter was a word that revealed the humor of what could never happen and became the celebration of what came to be.
God pursued Abram with the impossibility of having not just a child, but a generation. Incredulous, Abraham laughed. In part, with joy at the prospect of becoming a father, another as a reaction to the ridiculousness of the situation. Didn’t God know all the obstacles to such a thing?
Sarah was pursued also. She laughed within herself, not even willing to let the joy of the idea escape her. For to her, this was not just the idea of becoming pregnant. It was the idea that she would have to be made young again, unaffected by age, unmarked by the years. The doubt that niggled within was not unlike that of Nicodemus many years later, when he asked how a man could go back into his mother’s womb to be born again. Sometimes we confine God to the laws of nature, when He is contained only by the love in His heart.
Sarah stood on the ground of disbelief until God shook it. And the laugh inside her began to rumble with the truth of the fulness of the word. A meaning of laughter is intimacy. It means “to share unbelievable things with another.” If the bonds of the relationship are not tightened with truth, laughter can release the negative connotation of mockery and lead to the agreement of what cannot happen. But when the relationship is bound by love, laughter leads to the joining of hearts in the pursuit of possibilities.
Sarah learned throughout her story about ‘teshuvah’ or returning. Twice she was returned to the one who gave her away out of fear and self-protection. Now she was being invited to return to One who had never left her or let her go. Her choice to return did not come after pregnancy came and she “knew” God had fulfilled his promise. She reconvened that He could fulfill it.
By faith also Sarah herself did receive power to conceive seed, and she bare after the time of life, seeing she did judge Him faithful who did promise; Hebrews 11:11
Her faith or firm belief in the One who promised, overcame her and she returned and was filled with power. Her return to love, released the power for the impossible. Power in the context of this scripture means “ability, capacity, vigor, strength, will or desire.” Though her age or body did not change, everything within her did and her youth was renewed when the love of her youth was restored.
After the birth of Isaac, Sarah declared:
God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh for me. Genesis 21:6
I love that she says God made laughter for her, as if it didn’t exist until that moment. And in some ways it didn’t, because as a child burst from her womb, a covenant filled the earth. God gave a name to the boy, that meant “he laughs” or “he will laugh in all the days to come.” Tucked into his name, was the reminder of all they had journeyed for. There were generations to come and another meaning of laughter being revealed.
The two words Sarah used for laughter in her declaration, carry the potency of the power she became pregnant with. The first means, “to celebrate, to play with instruments and dancing.” The second means “to have no fear of what God says.”
In the moment of the impossible becoming possible, Sarah said that God made celebration just for her and because of it, everyone who heard her story would be invited to never fear what God says, but stand in awe of his word, be shaken by it, return to it and be filled with the power to conceive, carry and deliver it to fulness.
Elohim, the they of God – Pappa, Jesus, El Shaddai. They brood over chaos, shape the splendor of creation and imprint their image on every breath, branch and body. Exodus and entrance find them expectant and extravagant. Gathered, They crown Cross. When They come, barren seasons begin to birth, wilderness wonders with cloud and pillar, deserts rush with rivers, meals multiply, oceans render paths–nothing is void or vacant.
I love how this name triumphs in my heart and tastes in my mouth. It shines with the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4). Our God, is indeed one!