By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful. Hebrews 11:11
Our sinful nature encourages us to be unkind and judgmental. I can be that toward Sarah. I’ve wondered over the years why she was in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Was she really a giant of the faith? When God told Abraham, within earshot of his wife, that she would conceive at 90 years of age, she laughed to herself and then denied that she did it. Not only that, but after ten years of waiting for God to fulfill His promise, she took matters into her own hands and helped God out by having Abraham sleep with her maid. Ishmael was the result. So how can God see her as a woman of faith?
Just the way he sees me, and sees you, sin, then obey, sin, then obey. Does he see our less than sterling moments? Yes. Does he hear our spoken doubts, even cynical distrust that we mutter under our breath? Yes. Do we take matters into our own hands to shorten the time in God’s waiting room in order to ease our unbelief? Yes. Yet, God does not judge us in the end by our moments of weakness. What matters is how we viewed our sin and whether we repented to make course corrections. His mercies are new every morning.
Sarah did laugh again – but this time, at the birth of Isaac and in celebration of God’s power. This last laughter was one of joy that God had done the miraculous for her. She went public with it too, erasing any notion that her distrust of God had become permanent and turned her into a sour skeptic. She was no curmudgeon. She laughed like a child over God’s goodness.
None of us want to be judged by our worst moments. None of us should judge Sarah because of a few unattractive moments of faithlessness. God doesn’t. When He reviewed her life, He saw faith. So much so, that among all those in biblical history who exemplified faith in astounding ways, Sarah was divinely chosen to be remembered in this lineup of heroes.
Are you wincing over my past mistakes? Have you defined me by my sin? I know better. If I’ve repented, my sins are behind your back, out of sight. Let me hear your joyful laughter over my life. Amen