I’m glad this exchange is recorded in Genesis for us.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
The “they” who asked Abraham the whereabouts of his wife are the Lord and two angels. Abraham stood near his heavenly guests as they ate while Sarah listened to the conversation from the tent.
One of them reminded Abraham of the promise God made. The promise of a child….born to Abraham and Sarah. When Sarah overheard this, without knowing anyone could hear, she responded with a laugh and a bite of sarcasm.
I mean, Sarah had a point. She was 89 or so years old, way beyond the age to have babies. It was impossible.
Abraham laughed, too, when he first heard the promise (Genesis 17:17). But God didn’t respond to Abraham’s laughter the way He did to Sarah’s. I wonder why?
I think Sarah was scared to hope in the promise. Her barrenness made her bitter and she was resentful about the mess she made with Hagar (Genesis 16). I imagine when she overheard the promise of a child her heart fluttered. She remembered her longing and the uncountable prayers. Then she remembered the disappointment and pain. So she laughed it off.
Thankfully, God sees past all our pretense. He knows when we’re acting stronger than we are. He sees beneath the fake smiles and forced laughter, and He hears what’s beneath the sarcastic remarks.
God knew exactly what Sarah needed. The Lord asked Abraham why Sarah laughed then asked another question He knew Sarah would hear.
Is anything too hard for the Lord?
There have been lots of things I thought impossible. My marriage. This house. Our work. My heart.
I face impossible situations now. So impossible that I can’t see the possibilities any more.
But then I remember….
Marie, is anything too hard for the Lord?