“He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, ‘O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.'” Genesis 18:2-3
Oh do I have a story for the dog lovers out there today! So the reading today was, God’s promise to Abram to give him a son through Sarai, then as a reiteration of this promise the LORD comes and visits Abraham in physical form along with two angels, all three dressed as travelers passing by. In Hebrews 13:2 the writer actually references this visit in their letter, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Well this morning I myself got a similar visit/opportunity! I had completed my reading for the morning and was getting the kids and hubby ready for the day. Sean had found a funny cat video on Facebook that I was sharing with the kids when I heard our dog barking at the front door! I had let him out and accidentally shut the door so he couldn’t come back in! I literally ran from the kitchen to the front door to open it and let him in. Now, he’s a wiener dog, so when I opened the door my eyes were pretty close to the ground, but as I lifted them I was completely startled to see two other black dogs standing with him on our porch! I jumped and let out a bit of a scream of surprise. Then I literally doubled over in laughter. It was our neighbor’s dog Lilly that gets out ALL the time and some other little black corgi dog I haven’t met before. But the funny part of it wasn’t just that they were there, it was the looks on their faces! Countless times I have opened the door to children standing on my porch asking if one of my kids can come out and play. THAT was the look these dogs had on their faces; even Skippy. When I opened that door all three dogs just stood there for a second with that look on their faces like, “Can we come in and play?” And I instantly thought of the three “strangers” standing on Abraham’s doorstep and smiled to myself. Skippy ran into the house and then looked back at the two other dogs as if to say, “Come on guys! I’ve got toys!”
I asked the neighbor dog, “Lilly, what are you doing?” and she jumped and ran back down the steps and out of the yard with the little black corgi following her. I laughed so hard I about burst at the seams!
Now I have to tell you, when I sat down to write this all out for you and I re-read the scripture I about fell out of my chair, because I had just DONE everything that Abraham had done! I ran to greet them at the door; I lifted my eyes to see three smallish black dogs standing on my doorstep. AND I bowed in laughter at the sight of them! My God is so amazing! He delights in making me laugh. He knows what I think is funny and what I don’t. To some people (you know who you are J) to open your door and find three dogs on your porch would terrify the living spit out of you, me, I laughed hysterically and called my husband to tell him! Then I called another one of my friends, who LOVES Skippy, to tell her! Spread the laughter and joy right?
You may not think that this story has very much to do with the scriptures today, but I hope that it’s made you laugh like I did, because that IS what the scripture was about today. You see, there’s this amazing power in laughter. A laugh can make all the stress, hurt, pain, worry, tension and fear you’ve been experiencing lately simply melt away. Laughter is tremendous medicine; a cheerful spirit is good for you! (Proverbs 15:15 “All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.”)
Can you imagine how happy Abraham and Sarah were the day they found out they were actually pregnant? The laughter that had to have filled that house! Amazing! I mean, look at the scriptures, they laughed when God told them that they would be pregnant and have the child within the next year. And the child’s name, Isaac, means laughter!
There is something powerful about a promise being close to fulfillment that causes us to laugh. Sometimes out of doubt, Sarah, and sometimes out of joy, Abraham. But either way, we’re laughing! And that’s always good for us.
I want to share a song with you that I absolutely love! It’s from the CD that came out with a while back, called The Story. Each song is sung from a different Biblical person’s perspective in regards to their story. This song is Abraham and Sarah’s song. To me, the chorus is just so amazingly powerful; because God has dreamed a dream about each of us and our future here on earth. He’s dreamed a dream in you. And that is powerful, knowing that God has a plan, many plans, for you and your future and for your good. And you don’t even have to know what they are in order to fulfill them! How awesome is that!?! I’m willing to bet that somewhere, planted deep within your heart, there’s a dream just aching to come out and take life. And I’m also willing to bet that it’s something you’ve denied yourself for far too long. Something that people might make fun of you for, or that your parents didn’t think you could make a living doing that. What if that thing is God’s dream in you? And what if right now is the time for that dream to come out and become a reality in your life? It’s never too late; you’re not dead yet are you?
God had a dream for Abraham, that he would be the father of many nations. And He placed that dream deep down inside of Abraham in his mother’s womb. Abraham harbored that dream his entire life, he married Sarah and she was barren – no children, no fulfillment of his name (Abram means exalted father). But God wasn’t finished with him yet, in fact He had barely even started! Over and over, in almost every interaction that is recorded between God and Abraham, God mentions His promise to Abraham to bless him with a very large family. Yet every month Sarah’s “way of the woman” comes and their hearts fall once again at yet another month of empty arms. Yet they still held on to that shred of hope that God would still fulfill His promise to them. Then Sarah’s cycle finally stops altogether, hope seems completely gone. And there, in that moment God sets foot on their door and makes them laugh with the proclamation that now is the time. That now is the time that she will conceive and that she will finally bear this child of promise, Isaac the child of laughter.
It’s NEVER too late to fulfill that dream God has dreamed in you. Not ever. He is a God of the impossible, where He makes the impossible possible for those who believe! However, there’s a good chance that there’s something that you need to do first. Sarah’s cycles had ceased and Abraham was a seriously old dude. Yet to conceive this child, God was telling them was coming, they had to… well… you know. Isaac would never have been if they hadn’t had enough faith to at least TRY, just one more time. And that’s God’s challenge for you and I today. Do you have enough faith to at least TRY to… well… you know, just one more time. J