Today’s Scripture: Genesis 18:9-15
9 “Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.
“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.
10 Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”
Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. 11 Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. 12 So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”
Three men come to visit Abraham. Hospitality is in order, so a feast is prepared. Only something is strange about these men. As they are eating they ask “Where is Sarah, your wife?” How did they know her name? Yes, there is something more going on here than three travelers looking for some food and water. God himself has come to visit Abraham.
In this part of the story, we get an insight into Sarah’s mind. She laughed. You know, that “inside your head” laugh that we all do when something crazy happens? She laughed at the suggestion that she could have a child. She laughed at the ludicrousness of it all. She laughed maybe also at the pin-pick of hope that she felt when she heard about a child.
I love the way the Old Testament lets us in on the thoughts of different characters. The fact that we know what Sarah was thinking helps us to understand her. But it does more than that – it helps us to understand ourselves.
In this case notice that God asks Abraham why Sarah was laughing. In other words, he knew what was going on in her head. She of course denied it. But God made clear that he knew.
But did God punish her for laughing? Did he say he was going to take back what he said because Sarah laughed in her head? No. Instead he just acknowledged that HE knew that SHE laughed.
When I think about the fact that God knows my thoughts, I get a little scared – and a little embarrassed if I’m honest. I think most of us are that way. But it seems that God is ok with knowing what goes on in our heads – and certainly does not punish us for it. Instead, I wonder if what he wants is just an acknowledgement that he does in fact know our thoughts.
This acknowledgement can then serve as an entry point in our lives to the presence of God. It allows us to invite God into our inner-most chambers because the fact is – God’s already there. But instead of punishing us for our thoughts – he transforms them. For Sarah, laughter was transformed into a reminder that nothing is too hard for God.
I wonder what God will do with our thoughts if we just acknowledge that God already knows them? Open your mind to God today – let God into your secret thoughts. Who knows how they might be transformed!
God you know our thoughts and that’s not a bad thing. Help us to welcome you into all areas of our lives to transform us into the children of you that we actually are.