Laughter is the best medicine; I firmly believe that if some humor can be found in a situation it can save the day. In my relationships, in my house, in the classroom – I have long operated under the opinion that if I could get someone laughing, I could turn anything around.
Some people tell me I’m funny; I don’t know about that 😉 But I’m funny enough that this strategy has served me pretty well. We laugh a lot over here, and its a total blessing.
I have been thinking today about the way that Laughter comes up in the Bible. It is mentioned quite a few times and is an expression of everything from arrogance and pride to joy and exaltation. My mind immediately went to this – one of my favorite Biblical laughs:
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.Genesis 18: 11-15
As a person who indulges in a fair amount of gallows humor myself, I have always really enjoyed the brutally honest – and terribly sarcastic – laugh that Sarah has when she hears this news. I know this laugh. Struggling to get and stay pregnant made Sarah one of the most relatable characters in the Bible for me. At every bump in our road someone was sure to tell me that I needed to have faith and that God would make a way for us. So truly – I know this laugh specifically.
But then, most of this blog is a love letter to the child I didn’t think would ever happen. So truly, I know her joy as well.
It is so easy to forget that we don’t know as much as we think we do. I laughed last week when Danny’s case manager told me everything was under control and he was going to be fine at school. I have dedicated the last 11 years to understanding Danny and nothing that I have learned allowed me to dream that “fine” would be possible. And then, delivered as promised, two perfectly adequate – if not wonderful – days in middle school rounded out his week.
I laughed 6 years ago when Steve suggested I start leading the pastoral prayer at the contemporary service; told him that there was absolutely no way I should be doing that even if I could. I did it; begrudgingly at first, then dutifully, then joyfully. As I stood in the service praying for his healing the Sunday before he died, I understood maybe for the first time what a gift he had given me.
I have laughed nearly every time that someone has suggested that our lives are going to get back to normal on the other side of all this chaos. I have prayed for it, I have enjoyed signs of gradual (even significant) improvement, I have reveled in the pandemic specific things we have learned about how to live the best life possible moving forward.
And still, I laugh.
Because I learn and scheme and research and observe, but forget to ask the most important question:
“Is any thing too hard for the Lord?”