The spirit of Sarah lives on. If an angel of the Lord appeared to me and said, “Next year at this time you will be a starter for the Portland Trailblazers,” I’d laugh too. The angel would be right to inquire, “Why did [you] laugh?... Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” (Genesis 18.13-140).
I am preconditioned to quickly deny my doubt. “Who? Me? I didn’t laugh!” I can be dogmatic and insistent in my lie, exactly as Sarah was. I too have be caught between the apparent absurdity of faith and the denial of my unbelief. Like Sarah, we lie to ourselves and others because we are afraid. Afraid to appear wrong. Afraid to be wrong.
We back ourselves into a situational corner and choose to believe our own propaganda. We defend our point of view at all costs, even when we suspect we’re wrong. It becomes less about the issues and more about fear. The fear of being known as one who make mistakes, fear of disclosing the uncomfortable truth... I could be wrong!
This episode in Sarah’s life inspires me to admit the truth even when it demonstrates my unbelief. Perhaps if Sarah had paused when confronted by the angel, she might have gathered the courage to admit to her laughter and the unbelief it betrayed. Strength of character does not come from being right 100% of the time, but from the regular practice of saying three little words.