January 9 - A Perfect Reason to Laugh

Devotional Scripture: Genesis 18:1-33

Central Thought: God's promises may seem funny, but they are never a laughing matter.

    Forgive me for finding the circumstances surrounding Isaac's birth amusing. A 100-year-old man and his wife beyond the childbearing age becoming parents together for the first time? Come on now. Even Sarah had to laugh, both when she heard God's promise to bring her and Abraham a child and then again after her son's birth, when she realized that anyone who hears this story would laugh along with her. Sarah went so far as to name their son Isaac, which means, 'he laughs.”

    Abraham and Sarah were not typical new parents. I imagine a few unknowing observers outside the maternity room offered congratulations to the new 'grandparents,” not realizing they instead were looking at the proud parents. And I imagine Abraham did not miss an opportunity to tell the well-wishers that there was more to this story than an old couple's having a son. The most important delivery of that day was God's delivering on His promise.

    In Genesis 18, God promised Abraham that He would return at a set time a year later and that Sarah would then have a son. Sure enough, it happened. '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” (Gen. 21:1-2).

    We could leave off the final eight words of that passage—'at the very time God had promised him”—and still have a great story of God's kept promise to Abraham and Sarah. But those are eight important words, because they remind us of an important characteristic of God. God is never early, and He is never late. God is always perfect in His timing. We can have faith that God not only keeps His promises but also, as Abraham and Sarah learned, fulfills them at the perfect time. The timing of Isaac's birth may have seemed odd to the new parents, but it occurred precisely according to God's time line.

    You may smile at the thought of a man in his second century of life changing his son's diapers. You may even laugh. Go ahead. Sarah did, too. Just remember that it is easy to be joyful when you are on God's time line.

Devotional Prayer: Father, sometimes my situation seems impossible, but with You all things are possible.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 20:1-22:4; Matthew 7:15-29; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 2:16-22