Genesis 21:5-7

God has brought laughter for me (v. 6). This is a clever sentence. Sarah is laughing with joy. And she is quite literally holding her son, named “laughter.” Who would have thought it? Who would have believed it? 

If this scene was played out on a stage, I imagine the stage directions would instruct Sarah to ask these questions with peals of laughter: 

Who would have ever said that Abraham and Sarah would nurse children? [Sarah laughs] 

Everyone who hears will laugh with me! [Sarah laughs deeply…shakes her head as she chuckles…releases tears of joy].

Sarah’s joy here doubles. Not only is she so deeply happy that she laughs, marveling at her son, but she makes her own joke about her partner in this bit of miracle-making. “Who would have said to Abraham that I’d be nursing a child? And yet…” (v. 7, paraphrase mine).

Those two words—“and yet”—have the power to tell this entire story. A story about a lifetime of crushing disappointment. A story of the importance of entertaining strangers. A story about laughing at news that seems too good to be real. And yet…

“And yet” supersedes everything that came before. All that previous information, all that stuff that happened—it was all true, but it’s not the final word. That’s the essence of a miracle. 

Our God is a God of “and yet…”

We do our best and fail. And yet…

We break our promises. And yet…

We laugh in the face of miracles. And yet…

And yet, God loves us. And yet God sends us laughter when we least expect joy. 


In what ways has God said, “And yet…” to you?


God, give me the openness I need to recognize all the ways you say, “And yet…,” and embrace you through them. Amen.

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