Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
(Genesis 21:6 NIV)
The Bible mentions two times when Sarah laughed – when God promised her a son in her old age (Genesis 18:12) and when the promise was fulfilled and she held her son in her arms, as we read in today’s passage (Genesis 21:6). It seems as though her husband Abraham named their son Isaac, meaning “laughter” (Genesis 21:3), not only to remind his wife of her unbelief and doubt, but also to remind her to laugh. The woman who had lived a life of shame and disgrace and shed bitter tears due to her infertility, could now laugh again because God had brought laughter into her life. Earlier when she had incited her husband to marry their Egyptian slave, Hagar, and have a child by her, Sarah only added more misery and grief to her life (Genesis 16). It wasn’t until she held the promise from God that she realized who the source of her joy really was – God Himself. And it gets better. Sarah’s joy infiltrated everyone else who heard about what God had done for her, and they laughed with her.
When was the last time you laughed? Whenever we go through tough times, we’re told, “one day you’re going to look back and laugh at this.” Sarah certainly did. “And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”’ (Genesis 21:7). There’s probably nothing in your life making you laugh right now. Perhaps like the barren Sarah, your life is empty of all joy and laughter. But I can assure you that as you continue to trust Him, God will bring laughter into your life, as He did for Sarah, so that others can laugh with you. “God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21).