I remember sitting in my car when it happened: I laughed at God. It seems like a bad idea, laughing at the creator of the universe, but it just snuck up on me. I blurted out a laugh loud enough it embarrassed me as I talked to a friend about what God had just done. I was telling him I was moving to Nevada, a place that I had sworn I'd never live (see, that's the funny part), and now I was about to pack up and head there to serve at LifePoint Church. The irony was deep, and I laughed at God's plan as much as He must have laughed at mine.
So is it safe to laugh at the Lord? Was I in trouble for thinking God's plans for me were funny? No, as a matter of fact, it puts me in good company. Some of the most important people in the Bible laughed at God. If Abraham was the father of faith, then his wife, Sarah, was the mother of faith. God's plan to bless Abraham with a family that would become God's chosen people included Sarah as well. But long past when she had given up hope of having kids, God announced that she would give birth... at age 90. Her response was just what you'd imagine: she laughed.
All this is found in Genesis 18:9-15, a passage that reminds us that God can and will surprise us with His plans. God's plans are always bigger than we expect, always surprising and different than we imagine. They should make us laugh, not that God is foolish, but that our understanding of Him is so small. I may not have wanted to move to Nevada, but now I am excited to live in this beautiful place and serve alongside amazing people as we work to make Jesus famous in the Carson Valley. God has once again shown that He is smarter than me. Now I can laugh at myself for being so sure I knew better than Him about Nevada.
And Sarah? Here's what happened to her after laughing at God: Genesis 21:1-2, "Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised..." She named the boy Isaac, which means "he laughs" as a tribute to God's sense of humor. God is faithful, and sometimes His faithfulness will strike us as funny. Don't worry about it, just laugh and walk forward knowing that the God who makes us laugh with His plans will not only have the last laugh, but also prove Himself faithful in the end.
Pastor Bill McCready of LifePoint Church is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.