Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.”
When Isaac was born, Sarah said, “God has made me laugh” (Genesis 21:6). I don’t think we laugh enough. More often, we would probably say, “God has made me serious, or God has made me angry—but it’s okay; it’s righteous anger.” Here, though, we see Sarah rejoice—so much so that she named her son Isaac, meaning laughter. Did you know that kids, on an average day, laugh 150 times? Adults chuckle maybe fifteen times a day. That’s sort of sad for the adults, isn’t it? Scientists tell us that laughter releases chemicals in the brain that are natural painkillers and mood elevators. Laughing is good for us.
I hope God makes you laugh with joy. He certainly made us capable of laughter, of enjoying blessings and humor—silliness and irony and satire. And children are a big source of that joy and laughter and humor. When Isaac turned three and was weaned from Sarah, Abraham threw a party! Hitting that milestone was a cause for celebration, and Abraham seized it. In a spiritual sense, any parent who raises a child to follow Jesus is so stoked to see that child go from spoon-fed spiritually to taking the initiative to dig into the Word that it feels like Wow! Let’s have a party! This is awesome!
Now, we do need spiritual milk. Peter said, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). However, there comes a time when, as Christians grow, they surpass the need to be spoon-fed spiritually and they graduate to being able to eat solid food—meatier, deeper concepts of doctrine and theology. I look back to the questions that my son Nate used to ask me when he was a just a little tot riding in the car with me. His questions often spawned great conversations or even became the basis for a teaching series. I taught on walking with God because Nate asked, “What does that mean, to walk with God? How can a human being walk with God?” I thought, You know, that’s a great question that deserves honest study and exploration.
As I see what God is doing and has done in Nate’s life and the wisdom God has given him, how he’ll say, “Hey, I was studying the Word and the Lord revealed this to me,” I just want to celebrate. Party time! And isn’t it beautiful when you commit a child—whether yours or one whose life you’ve impacted—to the Lord and you trust His promises? “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). When children get older, you look at them and you think, It happened. They have their own relationship with God. It’s a wonderful moment—a time to celebrate, and a reminder of how God wants to bring joy and laughter into our lives.