GENESIS 21: LONG WAIT FOR LAUGHTER
1 The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:1-7 ESV)
Sarah and Abraham wait a very long time for Isaac, a word meaning “he laughs.” Forever, it seems, they wait for laughter. Abraham is 100. Sarah is no spring chicken. Many sad days have passed while they’ve waited for laughter. But finally, joy arrives. Finally, Isaac arrives.
Sixteen times the authors of the psalms ask God “How long?” It seems we’re always waiting for laughter. Life in the present rarely seems to be what we wish it to be. It’s filled with chaos. Health issues. Conflict. Disappointment. Sadness.
But just wait. God will deliver laughter. Your Isaac will arrive. Our Isaac will come. Don’t despair. Don’t give up. God always delivers on his promise. Joy will be yours. Joy will be ours.
Thank you Father, for the promise of joy. Give me strength as I wait for the fulfilment of that promise. Give us strength as we wait for the fulfillment of that promise. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Sometimes laughter and joy arrive and we’re not even aware. Take time to take stock of the last week. Survey the past seven days and see what small or large joys God’s brought into your life. Give thanks for them.
Chris is a spiritual director, the author of seven books, a father to Jordan and Jacob, a husband to Kendra, and has preached for the Highland Church of Christ since 1998.