Little Bear’s Bible lesson for class at church is about Abraham and Sarah. Well, it especially focuses on Sarah. In very simple language it tells the story of how Sarah wanted a baby and was so sad she couldn’t conceive. One day Abraham met three travelers and invited them home for a meal. In the course of their discussion, one of the visitors said he’d be back in a year and Sarah would have a baby. Sarah laughed. She had overheard the conversation, and she laughed.
It struck me as I was reading the story to Little Bear that I could completely relate to Sarah. I had always identified more with Hannah. She did not have a child of her own and she was heartsick–depressed, even. But she continued to pray and ask God for a child. Sarah, on the other hand, apparently had given up hope as the years passed. She was heartbroken but resigned.
From my earliest memories of playing “house,” I always wanted to be a mommy. I had hoped that dream would come true after I got married. But as each month passed and as one year led into another, my dream began to fade and my hope began to falter. Like Hannah, I would tearfully pour out my heart to God. Why couldn’t I have a baby? Finally, after having visited with specialists and trying all kinds of interventions over the course of a few years, I gave up.
Shortly after accepting the fact that I would likely not have a child, I found out I was pregnant. Impossible! Yet, it was true. I was designated AMA (advanced maternal age), but I was pregnant. There were complications along the way, but I was pregnant. I. Was. Pregnant.
When Sarah found out she was with child, I can imagine her wonder. After all that time and despite her age, God gave her a son. Sarah had sarcastically laughed at the idea of her pregnancy. She laughed again when she realized the promise of the Lord had been fulfilled. “Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.'” Genesis 21:6
God healed Sarah’s broken heart and filled her empty arms. He did the same for Hannah. He did the same for me. And like Sarah, I laughed.
He will fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with happy shouting.