Updated: Feb 14
This Week's Scripture & Reflection: Genesis 18:9-14
This life would not be the life we all know it to be if it did not involve hardship. To know and to live a life free of hardship is a foreign concept to mankind, and one that we often wish would replace our present reality, filled with its never-ending challenges. These challenges constantly shine light on our weaknesses as fallen human beings, although they also reveal some of our strengths as well. Nevertheless, when these hardships become too much to bear and begin to feel insurmountable, we can rest assured knowing that our personal burdens present no difficulty to one Person, in particular. His name is Yehovah, or Jehovah, the Self-Existent, Eternal God!
In Genesis 18, Jehovah God and two accompanying angels appear to Abraham in the form of men near the oak trees of Mamre, the same location where the Lord previously appeared to Abraham (Abram at that time) and told him that He would give the land of Canaan to His offspring (cf. Genesis 12:4-6). Having rushed to greet the three of them upon their arrival, Abraham calls upon Sarah and his servant to quickly prepare a meal for his divine visitors as a hospitable gesture. As the Lord and His two accompanying angels eat under the shade of the tree, they inquire about Sarah's whereabouts, to which Abraham replies saying, "She's inside the tent ". From inside the tent, Sarah overhears the Lord telling Abraham that upon His return this time the following year, she herself will give birth to a son.
In light of both her and Abraham's old age, especially with her being past the age of childbearing, Sarah laughs to herself in sarcastic disbelief and questions how she could possibly give birth to a child in her barren state. Though she laughed to herself from inside the tent, God unsurprisingly hears Sarah from outside the tent and repeats the question she asked herself to Abraham. He questioned why she would laugh in disbelief in response to His proclamation that she would give birth to a son in her old age ("Then the Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh?' Why did she say, 'Can an old woman like me have a baby?'"). Ultimately, God redirects Sarah and Abraham's focus from their inability to His divine ability in this profound rhetorical question: "Is anything too hard for the Lord? "
Sarah questioned how she was going to be able to give birth to a son in her old age. While her and Abraham would definitely be active participants in both conceiving and birthing a child, Sarah did not stop to consider how the Lord was going to bring about this miraculous result through her and Abraham's cooperation. Moreover, Sarah did not stop to realize that the Lord was able to produce a miracle through both her and Abraham, that He was the One who was going to bless them with a biological son in fulfillment of His promise to them. While conceiving and birthing a child seemed incredibly difficult and near impossible for Sarah in her barren state, it presented no challenge to God Himself! In exactly one year's time, God fulfilled His Word to the married couple by visiting Sarah and enabling her to conceive and bear a son named Isaac (cf. Genesis 21:1-3). He proved to both of them that absolutely nothing was too hard for Him, not even what they considered to be impossible.
When confronted with certain challenges in various seasons as believers, we tend to forget the nature of the God whom we serve! We tend to forget how matchless, powerful, and limitless He is, among so many other wonderful attributes! What we perceive, through our limited vision and understanding, as hard, difficult, or challenging is neither hard, difficult, nor challenging to God, who possesses no rival or equal (cf. Isaiah 40:25). He is simply not threatened or intimidated by the obstacles that threaten and intimidate us! While He may not always bring about resolution to certain situations in the manner that we desire, this is no indication that He is unable to handle it, but rather a reflection of our tendency to confine His superior ways to a pitiful box. What peace and joy we have in knowing that no problem is too complex for the Lord to solve, and that no request is too vast for Him to bring to pass!
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