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Laughing with God

As much as we humans enjoy a good laugh, it makes you realize that God must enjoy a full-out belly laugh every once in a while. As proof I'll offer the fact that He didn't even flinch when Abraham fell down on his face laughing at something God told him.

Perhaps it wouldn't have been as funny if it weren't for the time and place.Sometimes it’s not just what is said that is so funny, but more who youare with, how much sleep you have had and how awkward the situation is. Well,in Abraham’s case it wasn't what God said that made him laugh, it was whohe said it to that caused it to spiral into a belly laugh. In Genesis 17 Godcame and talked to Abraham all about circumcision and the covenant. None of thismade Abraham cringe in the least. It wasn't until Genesis 17:16-17 when God toldAbraham that he and Sarah would have a son that he fell on his face, not in worship,but in laughter! He was laughing at the thought of him himself—100 year-old-man—andSarah—his 90-year-old wife—probably having sex again, neverthelessbirthing a child! He couldn't help it; it was funny.

What I love about this scene is that God seemed to totally accept Abraham’slaughter. He didn't get offended; I think God could see the humor in it. I caneven imagine God trying to keep a straight face as he continued to tell Abrahamwhat was going to happen. God was presenting an impossible plan that was understandablyhumorous, but true. He simply went on to answer Abraham’s suggestion thatGod just go ahead and use Ishmael to be his seed. Doesn't that make you feelcomfortable with God? God knows that we might laugh and if we do it in the spiritof honest trust in Him, He totally accepts it. Abraham’s experience oflaughing at God’s plan was totally different than Sarah’s. In fact,Sarah got chastised for laughing about the same subject in Genesis 18:11-15.The difference between Sarah’s laughing at God’s plan and Abraham’swas that Sarah laughed at God, not with God. It’s not a laughing matterto laugh at God. Sarah overheard the Lord telling Abraham that this same timenext year they would have a child. She too, found it funny, but her laughterwas cynical laugher, not an honest reaction. She even lied about it when confronted.

Sarah didn't know what Abraham discovered: that God can handle our laughter.Her fear of God produced her defense of lying. I think there is a lot of roomfor reverent laughter when it comes to God. It’s good to realize how awesomeand majestic and worthy and holy He is, but it’s also important to knowthat He loves to laugh with you.

Perhaps, one of the most memorable times I remember laughing with God was whenmy prayer group prayed to God as if He was in a chair we had left empty in theroom. God is called a friend of Abraham; He wants to be your friend, too. Heis the kind of friend with Whom you can enjoy a good laugh.



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