“She had seen faith restore a darkened world, hope conquer a barren one, and absolute love overcome the beast that drove mortals away from mercy. Could death itself be conquered?” ~ Doors of Destiny
In my varied attempts at pursuing an active lifestyle, I have tried many things. A few years ago I was blessed to participate in a 5K that was held to raise funds and awareness for an organization called Freedom 4/24. This fine organization gives women caught in the slave industry the opportunity to receive healthcare, rest, and the Gospel. Since I’m not a runner, the hardest part of the 5K was getting in shape for it. Part of my training landed me in the physical therapist’s office, where I learned that weakness in one area can lead to injuries in other areas. I also learned how to strengthen what was weak and heal what was injured. But on those early mornings when I got back to the jogging/fast-walking (to call it running would be a lie), the hardest part was not the hills, or the sweating, or remembering to ice my leg afterwards; the hardest part was getting out of bed and putting my shoes on.
I never wanted to run a 5K. It was not my idea. I had been praying that God would give me a healthy mindset and an avenue of fitness that did not focus on my physical appearance when a friend invited me to do the event through a Facebook post. When I got the invitation I nearly fell over laughing. But God often leads us into laughable situations just to show His power and goodness. The idea of the 5K wouldn’t let go of me. God is persistent like that. So I finally said, “OK, God, I’ll walk a 5K for You, even If it’s way out of my skill set.” People have done more ridiculous things, in faith.
Thinking of laughable situations, Isaac, the son of Abraham comes to mind. In Genesis 17, we witness an interesting exchange between God and Abraham. Imagine, if you will, God appearing to Abraham. The LORD announces Himself, “I am GOD Almighty…” You could almost feel the earth quake. For the next sixteen verses the Lord goes on to further explain His plan to Abraham. The air is electric; Abraham (the new name God gave him at that time) is silenced by awe. God Almighty explains His covenant with Abraham, initiating the circumcision. He then declares that Sarah (her new name), Abraham’s wife, will bear a son and she will be “…a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Abraham falls to his face—which you might expect in the presence of His powerful Creator. But then a small sound interrupts the splendor. Abraham’s body begins to shake a little. Is he sobbing, overcome by the glory? Is he trembling in reverence? No. He is laughing! The Bible tells us that Abraham is not, at this time, contemplating the grandeur of the occasion, or the prospect of undergoing circumcision. Instead, he’s thinking how funny it is that two old prunes like him and Sarah would have a child after all those years.
If God didn’t already know, you could almost imagine Him asking, “What are you laughing at?!” Doesn’t it always seem to happen that the one place, the one occasion in which you should NOT be laughing, something strikes you as funny and then takes ahold of you? Abraham suggests to God that maybe Ishmael could be the heir, but God replies, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac: he laughs.”
We don’t know for sure if Abraham was laughing in delight or incredulity, but Romans 4:19 states that as “he contemplated his own body, now good as dead…” he did not grow weak in faith. So, his laughter was not born of doubt, but the shear ridiculousness of what God was going to do. How appropriate that we start From Promises to Passage with Abraham, since he received the promises and took the journey, by faith.
Perhaps God decided to name his son Isaac just so we would all remember that God is Almighty; He can and will accomplish things so miraculous that they seem laughable. God is not held within our restraints of reason or probability. He can do whatever He likes, especially those things that seem absurdly impossible.
P.S. I jogged the 5k with my sisters and friends by my side. My time what pitiable, but it wasn’t about me and my pride. Hmm, that is good to remember.
Excerpts from Doors of Destiny Travelers’ Companion by Darlene Melcher