Sunday, August 17, 2014

Has God Made You Laugh?


       Have there been things in your life you never thought would take place, because you prayed and prayed, but nothing changed? When you began this quest, did you cling to Psalm 37:4’s promise of when we delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart, only to realize His answer was no or not now? Did you pout and get angry or take matters into your own hands? Did your solution backfire or did you finally accept things as they were?

       Imagine Sarah, Abraham’s wife, would answer with a resounding “Yes”, considering the years of praying for God to open her womb. Each month her prayer and anticipation, just to experience great disappointment and pain when conception did not take place. Month after month, year after year, the same thing; after a while it can make you a bit numb and desperate. Finally, as a last resort, Sarah suggested something despicable; something I believe, she would never have agreed to under any other circumstances. It was a huge sacrifice, but she could see no other way for God to fulfill His promise. Sarah gave her Egyptian handmaid, Hagar, to Abraham “…to be his wife…So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived.”

       Up to this point, no one knew whose body had malfunctioned. Now there was no doubt, When Hagar “… saw that she had conceived, her mistress [Sarah] became despised in her eyes.” (Gen. 16) Sarah thought this solution would make her happy, but it didn’t. It only caused more pain.

       However, after fourteen more years of waiting, God did something so wonderful, so amazing, that she just had to laugh. At ninety years old, “…Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken…Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.’” (Gen. 21:1-6) Sarah prayed and trusted God (Heb. 11:11), but I think she was as shocked as anyone was, when it actually happened. That is why all she could do was laugh.

       Now, back to your unanswered prayer. God had a set time for the miracle He promised Sarah and He has a set time for you. For me, it was twenty-three years. God’s promise came in the Jr. High school parking lot while I was praying and waiting to see if my daughter, Lorrie, had made it for seventh grade cheerleader. I was so nervous waiting, so I opened my little NIV Bible. God gave Psalm 1:3 as a promise, “He [she] is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” When Lorrie came out wearing her cheerleading uniform, I thanked and praised for His fulfilled promise.

       However, as life goes, this joy was short lived. Many struggles ensued over the years and the fruit seemed stifled in her life. But, with intermittent tears, I kept praying and believing, especially during our knock-down, drag-out fights. During that time, I’ve watched how He has helped her grow not only into a beautiful wife and mother, but in Him. I was completely satisfied, the desires of my heart realized, and I wouldn’t have asked for more.

       But, we have a God “…Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Eph. 3:20)

       And, God wasn’t finished with Lorrie. She had more fruit to bear. So, a few years ago, after volunteering at her children’s Elementary School, Lorrie decided she wanted to be a Teacher’s Aide.  Researching the subject, Lorrie found she must pass a test to become licensed, before she could apply at any school.

       My reaction? I tried to talk her out of it and when that didn’t work, I started to pray, “Lord, change her mind!” However, God immediately rebuked me saying, “Do you think I can’t do this?” Shame-faced I said, “No Lord, I know all things are possible with You. Help me to trust.” He then reminded me of that day in the parking lot and confirmed, this was Lorrie’s set time.

       Through one miraculous event after another, I have watched God’s hand with utter amazement and I just have to laugh. On the day of Lorrie’s ParaPro Assessment Test, He gave me Joel 2:25, “I will restore the years the…locusts have eaten…” She passed with flying-colors, got licensed, finger printed, and hired.

       God is at work in your life too. Keep praying, trusting, and watching for His amazing hand.
He will make you laugh!

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