Really Lord?

I’m glad this exchange is recorded in Genesis for us.

“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.”

           Genesis 18:9-14

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?

 

Photo by Lionello DelPiccolo on Unsplash

Something More

“Something perfectly new in the history of the Universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door which had always been locked had for the very first time been forced open.”  C.S. Lewis, Day 47 in Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

Easter Sunday has come and gone. The season of Lent is over but my journey of reflection continues with the daily readings from the devotional. I’m in the “New Life” section of the book now.

Frederick Buechner writes on Day 52:  “In the end, his will, not ours, is done. Love is the victor. Death is not the end. The end is life. His life and our lives through him, in him. Existence has greater depths of beauty, mystery, and benediction than the wildest visionary has ever dared to dream. Christ our Lord has risen.”

God has something more for us. But it’s not out there somewhere. It’s not tomorrow or in a few years or decades from now. It’s not when you finally have the family you’re praying for. It’s not only when your marriage gets better or when the cancer is gone or when the kids behave. It’s not just when you’re free from the addiction. It’s not only when you’ve reached your goal or when you’re living your dream.

It’s here and now.

It’s in the everyday mess of your life. The laughter and tears and everything in between. It’s in the middle of your battle. When you’re fighting for faith and trying to find joy. It’s in the hard work of reaching your goals. It’s the crying out to God when you don’t understand. It’s when you’ve conquered and when you’ve failed. When you go from feeling all is right in your world to feeling it’s hopeless. It’s when you fall and get back up. And it’s when you have no strength left to get back up.

He’s the God of your every day. Right there with you in the midst of your routine and obligations. Because “what God began, God will not abandon.” Madeleine L’Engle, Day 56

Something more is here and now.

“Those who live victoriously, though they wait in great hope and expectation for the final triumph of God’s grace, live even more in present experience of what that grace in Christ can do in their lives here and now. ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’ is no idle promise for an indefinite future but a simple statement of what Christ can and will do here and now if we put our trust in him and open our lives to his presence and his power.”      Howard Hageman, Day 50

 

 

Even So

This is a close up of a bud on the fig tree in the backyard. You can see the “velvetiness” on the young newly opened leaf. Soon, more buds will sprout……more leaves will fill the branches. Then the fruit will come and grow and ripen. That’s the expectation.

That’s what’s supposed to happen. image

But what if it doesn’t.

Even so………..

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

  

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV

Branch