When three heavenly strangers appear to Abraham at the entrance of his tent, Abraham springs into action as a gracious host. Their encounter reinforces what we have already learned in this story. God is able to fulfill promises which are beyond our comprehension.
1 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Genesis 18:1-5, 9-15
Funniest part of this story – Sarah doing “am not. Are too. Am not. Are too” with the Lord. Probably not one you’re going to win… “you did laugh, Sarah.” End of discussion.
Sarah laughed for the same reason we laugh. Abraham did it in the last chapter. We laugh because we are bound by humanity and the possibility of our times. What the Lord is promising here is beyond possibility. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” God asks them. Anything? No. The plain answer is no.
And that’s the crux of this situation and million more like it. Nothing is too hard for God, yet our faith (or lack thereof) makes most things out to be impossible. Which brings me back to Ephesians 3:20-21.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
The God we glorify in our faith and our praises and hopefully with our lives is the God who is able to do more than we can dream of. At the far edge of anything we could hope for or dream of is the beginning of what God is able to do. And Sarah laughed.
We don’t blame her because we have the wealth of Scripture through which to read her story. We ought to be convicted, however, in that we suffer from her lack of faith even though we have Red Sea and resurrection moments to draw upon.
So think about that mountain which is too high to climb and that problem that is not ever going to be solved. And then look up and quote Ephesians 3:20-21 to God and ask him to do what he is able to do.