I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed. Genesis 17:16-17 ESV
I have had incredible prayers answered. Some were so desperate that when He broke through with deliverance, I fell to my knees and cried out, not with tears, but with laughter. I’m pretty reserved so anyone who knows me might be surprised by this admission.
Laughter has gotten a bad rap. It does not always mean derision or unbelief. For me, my outburst of laughter came with these words tumbling out in staccato. “Oh Lord, you did it! Thank you. This is too good to be true.” I hugged Him in the air and danced, literally. If He hadn’t delivered, I would be stooped and old for my age today. My only hope was in Him. I was completely out of options.
How can we say what kind of laughter Abraham had when God announced the coming birth of a child in his old age? Maybe it was of the praising kind, not of unbelief. Perhaps it celebrated a God so good, so faithful, that laughter expressed celebration of something to come.
Anyone can laugh when celebrating a miracle, but the real test is whether I can celebrate before it happens. My faith has been so weak at times. What did I do instead? I didn’t laugh. Webster’s Dictionary spells some alternatives, crying, moaning, sobbing, wailing, frowning, pouting, and scowling. Not that there shouldn’t be tears in God’s waiting room. There should be and there are. But joyful confidence in a God who can, and will, break through the dark clouds, should also be present. If I can’t believe His promises enough to speak them and feel them, I live in dark places. Abundant life begins with faith in what cannot be seen nor discerned. My spirit has eyes and can see down hope’s pathways.
In all my waiting places, I celebrate You. Amen