Posted by: glorifyhim1 | March 26, 2013

My God

One of the most touching things to me when I read my Bible is the way that God interacts with His people. I’m reminded of the story of Sarah who had believed for years in God’s promise that she would have a child. However, upon overhearing the Lord reiterate His promise to Abraham that she would still give birth, when she was far beyond child-bearing years, she couldn’t help herself – she laughed. (Genesis 18) Her laughter may have been prompted by disbelief. After all, wasn’t it physically impossible? Part of me, however, feels that her laughter was also prompted by sheer joy, the incredible reality that God’s promise was really going to be fulfilled. After hearing the promise again after waiting so long, surely she was ecstatic that she was really going to become a mother!

The Scripture tells us that “Sarah laughed within herself…” yet the Lord knew. Although she was listening in the tent door, and although her laughter was not audible, God knew…. and God asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord?’” I can only imagine Sarah’s fear when she realized that the Lord knew she had laughed. The Scriptures tell us that Sarah immediately denied it, but God responded, “No, but you did laugh!”

There is something so wonderful about this interchange that makes me smile every time I read it. But that is not the whole story. Abraham had also laughed earlier when God had repeated His promise to give him a son. (Genesis 17:17) As both Abraham and Sarah struggled to believe the promise, God must have smiled Himself as He instructed Abraham to name the Son to be born, Isaac – which means “laughter!”

This is but one of many such stories in the Bible that reveals a God who engages with His people. Time and again, we read about a God who actively pursues individuals just like you and me – people who sometimes find it hard to believe just like Abraham and Sarah…

  • people who become discouraged and feel like giving up like the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19)
  • people who are short on courage like Moses (Exodus 3) or Gideon (Judges 6)
  • people who long for something with all of their hearts like Hannah (1 Samuel 1)
  • people who have failed miserably, who are broken and shattered like King David (2 Samuel 12)
  • people who endure suffering and pain like the nation of Israel after the destruction of Jerusalem (Lamentations)
  • people who are lost and in need of a Savior like you and me (John 3:16)

In all of these examples, and many more within the pages of Scripture, we see a personal God who is affected by both our yearnings and our trials. These stories illustrate that He is not aloof to our feelings, our disappointments, even our doubts. He doesn’t forsake us when we’re mixed up, confused, or needy. He doesn’t turn away when we are sad, lonely, discouraged, fed up, scared, worried, weak, convicted, hurt, belittled, beleaguered, when our faith seems so small and our need seems so great. Instead, He stands ready to hear, heal, and forgive. “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5).  Whatever our situation, whether deserved or undeserved, we are never out of the reach of God. I know because He’s my God. He’s been there for me and He’ll be there for you. He wants to be your God, too.

 

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