My husband and I endured such an arduous journey to parenthood that, when we finally brought our son into our home, everything became cause for celebration. His first tooth. His first word. His first steps. His first birthday is still the most elaborate party I’ve ever thrown. I invited everyone who had walked with us through pain to celebrate our joy.
Interestingly, after all of the anticipation surrounding Isaac’s arrival, his actual birth is reported with little fanfare. But even though it’s a spare account, it is a significant one. Notice that Sarah’s role is emphasized. She is portrayed as the object of God’s grace and the recipient of His promise (v. 1). Sarah was not just along for the ride. She was not simply a helpful tool, needed for God to bless Abraham. Sarah herself was also the beneficiary of God’s blessing. The Lord saw her and did this for her, as well as for Abraham.
The centrality of Sarah in this passage underscores God’s faithfulness. While Abraham and Sarah had doubted God along the way and pursued their own paths toward parenthood, and while Abraham had previously thought of Ishmael as his primary heir, God had His own plan—to bless Abraham through a son with Sarah. Finally, God brought that plan to fulfillment and kept that particular promise. There could be no mistake. As God had commanded, Abraham named his son Isaac, which means “he will laugh.” Even Sarah understood the irony. The name would always remind them of their skepticism. "Who would have said . . . ?” (v. 7). But the name would also be a testimony to God, who brought her joy. He had redeemed her sorrow, and He would also extend that joy to “everyone who hears about this.”
>> How have you seen God keep His promises? How has He brought you laughter out of pain? What are you trusting Him for right now? Give Him praise today, and share that joy with someone else.
Almighty God, today we pause to recount your faithfulness to us. However burdened or frightened we may be, our present trials do not change your grace in the past and your promises for the future.