For Sarah to become pregnant was not reasonable, but faith transcends reason
The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:13–14)
Perhaps you have seen clever birth announcements from military families. Such creative notices of a new addition bring a smile to my face. For instance:
“Reporting for Duty (projected date of birth).”
“I’m being promoted to big sister/brother.” (Sign held by older child.)
“The Jenkins family will have a new recruit (projected date of birth).”
The announcement from the three strangers who visited Abraham’s camp that a child would be born to Abraham and Sarah did not just bring a smile—it brought a guffaw of laughter. Honestly, can you blame Sarah for laughing? That sure would be my response if I was a ninety-plus year old woman.1
Sarah’s laughter was met with one of the greatest statements in Scripture: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Such words challenge the core of faith. The words held no rebuke, but were rather a gentle reminder that God knew Sarah’s name, as well as her thoughts, and he—and only he—was able to bring such an impossible event to pass.2
Through this unusual visit Sarah was drawn into full ownership of her part in the covenant promise.3 For Sarah to become pregnant was not reasonable, but faith transcends reason. Although her body was no longer naturally capable of becoming pregnant, God extended a personal invitation for her to become the mother of nations. A door of hope for the future was opened to Sarah that day, and it should bring a smile to each of our faces.4 That door of hope remains open for each of us through Christ, the ultimate fulfillment of the promise to Abraham.
Has God ever led you to do something you thought was impossible? Are you facing something that seems impossible today? “Is anything too hard for God?” is not meant to be a verse we claim in order to change our circumstances. God can certainly change circumstances, but sometimes the toughest thing for us is to accept our circumstances and grow through them.5
Prayer for the Journey
Thank you for being the God of the impossible. I bring my list of impossibilities to you and ask for your grace to look at them through the lens of trust. Increase my faith in you as the one who is able to do so much more than I can ever ask for, or even think of. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20)
1 Bill Arnold, Encountering the Book of Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2003), 101.
2 Ibid, 102.
3 Ibid, 100.
4 Bruce Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 272.
5 John H. Walton, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 470.