Genesis 17:1,9-10,15-22; Ps See how the Lord blesses those who fear him; Matthew 8:1-4
We continue our following of Abraham and his journey with God. All week we have been invited to take a peak into the life and times and struggles of Abraham and his family.
We now find ourselves in chapter 17 of the book of Genesis, where Abraham gets the bomb dropped on him. One could say the thunderbolt has struck him.
"God further said to Abraham: As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai; her name shall be Sarah. I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her. Him also will I bless; he shall give rise to nations, and rulers of peoples shall issue from him. Abraham prostrated himself and laughed as he said to himself, Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? OR can Sarah give birth at ninety."
It has been often told to me that one must laugh in order to keep from crying.
Perhaps this was one of those moments for Abraham. Certainly as he looked upon his wrinkled skin and gray hair and looked across and saw his wife growing feeble, he began to question whether God really knew what He was doing.
Or perhaps he began to wonder about the whole drama of trying to have a kid the previous time with Hagar and Ishmael and Sarah getting all upset. Maybe he figured he didn't want to deal with that again.
Whatever it was, laughter seemed to be the only answer appropriate.
Think about your own life. When has been the last time you found laughing because of the turn of events or the change in circumstances, where like Abraham it seemed to surreal or beyond comprehension.
And what was God's response to this outbreak of laughter. As scripture relates God replied, "nevertheless..."
Nevertheless or all the same God's plan will continue to unfold.
It is nice to know that God seems to also have a sense of humor. God's puts up with lot of nonsense from us and continues to forge the path for salvation to unfold.
Laughter is a beautiful thing.
In fact here are a few words from Pope Emeritus BEnedict XVI,
"Deep joy of the heart is also the true prerequisite for a sense of humor, and thus humor is in a certain sense, the measure of faith...where joylessness reigns, where humor dies, the spirit of Jesus Christ is assuredly absent. But the reverse is also true: joy is a sign of grace. One who is cheerful from the bottom of the heart, one who has suffered but not lost joy, cannot be far from the God of the evangelium, whose first word on the threshold of the New Testament is "Rejoice."
Abraham's laughter is a sign of surrender. HE finally raises the white flag. He finally decides to let God do it his way.
Where are our white flag moments in life? Where have we finally decided to let God have it his way?
Just like too much junk food is bad for our health physically so insisting on too much control can also slowly erode our faith.
God will invite us to surrender, to raise the white flag, to throw our hands, or in Abraham's case, fall down and just laugh.
In that laughter, we might just discover the golden nugget of true faith.