A lot can happen in a year. In Genesis 18, God visits Abraham. While sitting at the entrance of his tent, Abraham notices three men standing before him by the oaks of Mamre. Abraham runs to them, bows down, and compels them to stay, referring to them as “Lord.”
After providing a lavish meal for his visitors, a question arose, “Where is Sarah, your wife?”
“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.
Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent (see Genesis 18:9–10 NLT).
Sarah listens from the darkened confines of a tent, close enough to hear but separated from their conversation. She is careful not to make a sound, but Scripture reveals her thoughts:
Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” (Genesis 18:11–12 NLT)
Was this the first time Sarah heard this? She is obviously caught off guard. Sometimes a promise is drawing closer when it has never seemed more impossible. What I love about this discourse was that the Lord is determined that Sarah is part of the conversation.
Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18:13–15 NLT)
Sarah not only laughed . . . she lied! She was scared because it was one of those “You’ve got to be kidding!” laughs. God spoke to the deep desire of Sarah’s heart, which shook her to the core. Her heart was shaken like a gold minor drilling the hard earth searching for the promise concealed in her heart. Perhaps she had died to these dreams but these dreams had not died–they were only buried alive deep within her.
Strength comes when God visits your life with promise. It turned out to be a year like no other for Sarah. The truth is that there is no substitute for hearing God speak directly to you. You need to jump in on conversations with God that concern your destiny. We need what you carry on your life. This is not the time to hide. It is time for you to come out of confinement and call to the Lord, “I’m here! Speak, for Your servant listens.”
If you want to live the life God has planned for you, hiding must no longer be an option. Like Sarah, this year could be a marker year for you—the year you both receive promise and have promise fulfilled.
Don’t lie and say that you do not long for more. Don’t deny your dreams. When you do, there is first a laugh and then a lie as the door of your heart shuts. Bravely throw open your heart and embrace all the miraculous wonder you’ve been invited into.
So, what are you hiding from? What is the dream that you now mock? Beloved, maybe this year has begun in the shadows with a laugh . . . but can end with embracing a promise!