laughter and tears
God spared Isaac’s life and Abraham “named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means ‘the Lord will provide’)” (Genesis 22:14). Read John 3:16-17 to see why God chose not to spare His Son from death.
What is God asking you to sacrifice for Him? What’s holding you back?
In September 2011, Stacie Crimm held her newborn baby and “laughed and cried all at once.” Surely most mothers are overcome with emotion as they see and touch the new life freshly emerged from the womb. But Stacie’s emotions were particularly poignant, for just 3 days later she died of cancer. During the pregnancy, she had refused medical treatments that might have saved her life—treatments that she feared would harm the baby she carried within her. And so, there was laughter . . . and tears.
Much like Stacie, Abraham experienced emotions from both ends of the spectrum in the life of a child God had given Him. When he was 99 years old, the Lord revealed to old Abe that he would have a son and that he should name the boy Isaac (Genesis 17:5,19). At his advanced age, Abraham couldn’t help but laugh that a child would be born to him and his equally well-aged wife Sarah (Genesis 17:17). Sarah also giggled when she considered the news (Genesis 18:12). And when Isaac was born, she said, “All who hear about this will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6).
Scripture tells us that “some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith” (Genesis 22:1). He told the old man to take his young son and sacrifice him (Genesis 22:2). As a father of three sons that I deeply love, I can only imagine the searing pain Abraham must have felt at that moment. But in obedience and faith, he trusted God and did as he was told. As he raised the knife to end his precious flesh-and-blood’s life (Genesis 22:10), tears must have wet his cheeks and soaked his beard.
Laughter and tears. Abraham knew them both. But he passed the test (Genesis 22:1). He withheld nothing—not even his only son—from God (Genesis 22:12). May we follow his example . . . even amid laughter and tears.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 27:1-10
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