Thursday, April 21, 2011

Genesis 21:1-7

Nothing seems to take longer than the nine months women wait to deliver a baby! But add to that the decades of barrenness that Sarah suffered, and the 25 years between God’s promise of a son and the actual birth, and you have a VERY long wait! If Abraham was to become the father of the faithful, he would need to exercise his faith, and surely God gave both Abraham and Sarah plenty of exercise! But in the exact time intended, in God’s perfect timing, Isaac was born, just as God had promised.

Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Gen 21:1-7)

It’s hard to imagine what Sarah must have felt (and the Bible doesn’t give us a whole lot of specifics here), but I’m grateful to Beth Moore, who, in her study, The Patriarchs, spends time making us think about this as women. First she speculates on the relationship between Abraham and Sarah and the tender moment they would have had in conceiving this child at their ages. That alone would have been a cause for laughter! Beth points out what a special thing it is when couples, who have been married forever, can maintain their passion for each other - even if the physical passion wanes of necessity. Don and I have been married almost 39 years, and I can tell you that I love him much more now than I did on August 28, 1971! However, we both laugh at the fact that we are just NOT the same as we used to be!!! :)

Then, Beth asks her readers to think about how Sarah may have first discovered that she was indeed pregnant, since Sarah was long past menopause. She must have been fairly far along, although I’m guessing she was probably counting the months after the three visitors had shown up at their tent and the LORD had told her that it would happen a year from that time. Do you think she had morning sickness? Did she worry over those first few months that she might lose the baby? Did she realize what that first kick was? I can imagine her laying on her bed at night, as she advanced in her pregnancy, watching her tummy moving back and forth. There must have been plenty of laughter between her and Abraham as they enjoyed what all of their family and friends had experienced many years ahead of them. Then, when Isaac was finally born, think about the tears mixed with laughter. What a time of rejoicing, not only for them, but for everyone who loved them.

At my school we’ve had several gals who have struggled with infertility. Some finally got pregnant through in vitro fertilization, and others suffered through years of attempts to no avail. Finally, one dear teacher, who had been at so many baby showers for others with genuine joy for her co-workers, decided to adopt. I will never forget the day she announced to us that she and her husband had been chosen by a young gal to adopt her baby. Tears flowed and shouts of joy and praise to God erupted. I’m imagining that kind of celebration for dear Sarah and Abraham! It’s that same joy that I’m experiencing as I see Emmy and Nathan holding our dear little Penelope now! God is so very good!

There are many times in our walk with God that we experience trials and even deep sorrow. But there are also so many times when we experience great jump-up-and-down-shout-out-loud-hilarious joy!!! I’m thanking God for this special passage of joy in His Word today! Finally, Sarah and Abraham had their Isaac!! Hallalujah, indeed!

Love to you all!

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