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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, August 22

Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"
—Genesis 17:17

Abraham and Sarah laughing on the floor.

Laughing at God.

If you're honest, I bet you haven't laughed at God too often. At least not out loud. And certainly not rolling along the floor. But if the story of Abraham and Sarah teaches us anything, it teaches that such brutal honesty is exactly what we are to give God.

God's promises feel absurd sometimes. But most of us don't admit that; we aren't honest. Instead of rolling on the floor, laughing in God's face, we hide our feelings and stuff our disbelief deep down inside. The promises seem so great and their likelihood so dim that we just say no way to ourselves, deny the possibility, and shelter all the disappointment and despair from our Creator. We stay in charge.

But in Abraham and Sarah we find a different image. They were willing to let go and let God take it all. Faced with a promise they couldn't believe, they let God have it. They rolled along the floor in total honesty, giving God their disbelief, their skepticism, their “no way” attitude.

And look what happened: God wasn't angered. God didn't punish. Instead, God stood by them, faithful, loving, and true. And God expects the same from you. God wants you to be yourself—totally yourself—for that's the person God called into being in your mother's womb. 

God desires more than anything for you to be honest. For in total honesty, in letting God have all the feelings and frustrations, you let God have all of you.

Then, and only then, can God be present in all of your life. Then and only then can the promises of God come to a new light, new day, new world. Being totally honest with God is the lesson of Abraham and Sarah. And it is the key to a relationship with God.

Help me laugh at you God. Help me be totally and completely honest with you. And in my honesty, rolling along the floor with Abraham and Sarah, help me see your devotion and faithfulness to me through it all. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.