Weird is the New Normal: Day Eight

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Eight – “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Me give birth? At my age?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” – The Lord (Gen. 18: 13)
Why did you laugh, Sarah?  Because it is hilariously impossible for a 90-year-old woman to have a baby! I think God understood that (because God invented laughter), and because the son born to Sarah and Abraham would be named, “Isaac.”  The name Isaac means, “He laughs.”  Remember, Abraham laughed at the notion, too…fell on his face laughing (the original ROFL).   I’m going out on a limb here, but I think the Lord chuckled over this whole thing, too.  What?  You don’t think God has a sense of humor?  Yes – God is not humorless, unmoved…like some kind of “Force” from Star Wars. Nor is God “way beyond the blue,” watching us like an eye in the sky. What is God like, then?
To answer that, let’s dig into that last question in Genesis 18: 13… “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”  Of course, the answer is “No!” But let’s think this all the way through.  From the Wesleyan point of view (my tribe is Methodist), God is involved in the smallest details of our lives, but God does not micro manage it all.  To believe that God “controls” everything is to take away freedom…to take away freedom is to take away real love, because real love must include the possibility of not loving. As I said before, the very identity of God is redeeming, non-controlling love.
Nothing is too difficult for God, but if God controlled everything, then God would not be a God of compassion.  Why would a God who controlled and micro managed everything be moved to compassion?  That kind of God wouldn’t, but that’s not God!  And we know that God IS moved with compassion…the God of all comfort!  We know what God is like by looking at Jesus. To quote one of my favorite Charles Wesley hymns, “Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure unbounded love thou art; visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.” (Love Divine, All Loves Excelling UMH #384)
Nothing is too difficult for God, but God is working with imperfect people here.  Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife – not once, but twice!  Sarah was cruel to Hagar, had believing God’s promises, and when confronted by God said, “What?  Not me!”  But in the end, Sarah is the first woman listed in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews chapter 11.  God’s love is redeeming!  Aren’t you thankful for that?  I am!
Nothing is too difficult for God, but like perfect Parent God is, God gives space, doesn’t manipulate, and always works to bring about good.  Romans 8: 28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 
Reflection: What in your life makes you know God has a sense of humor?
Action: In a few sentences, describe what God is like.

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