October 23, 2019


Genesis 18:1-15

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

—  Genesis 18:15

Laughter is good for our hearts. I hope you can think back on many joyous and laugh-filled occasions.

But not all laughter is the same. Sometimes it is cynical. When I told people that I—an overweight and out-of-shape senior citizen—was going to cycle across Canada, there were many who laughed to themselves in unbelief.

Ninety-year-old Sarah laughed in disbelief when she was told she would give birth to a son. She knew that after a certain age, women simply do not get pregnant. The idea must have sounded like a joke. Abraham had also laughed earlier when God told him Sarah would have a son (Genesis 17:16-17).

While reading this story, I was convicted that my cynicism is often tied to a lack of faith. I sometimes see old feuds, a lack of growth in our churches, and incurable illnesses as “just the way things are.” And I see that God’s question applies to my life: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Ephesians 3:20 reminds us that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”

When God fulfilled his promise and a son was born to Abraham and Sarah, they named him Isaac, which means, “he laughs” (see Genesis 17:19). Their laughter now had a positive tone, as in Psalm 126:3, which says, “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” May God give us that kind of joy when we recognize that he keeps his promises!

Lord, thank you for the gift of laughter. Give us faith in your promises, and fill us with rejoicing. Amen.

About the author — Gerrit Bomhof

Gerrit Bomhof immigrated as a young child with his family from the Netherlands to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in 1954. He graduated from Trinity Christian College in 1972 and from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1976. He served as a pastor to five churches in Canada and retired in June 2017.

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