Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why We Can Laugh in the Waiting

I was brushing her little white baby teeth. She was sitting on top of the counter and I was telling her to ‘open up’ and ‘spit it out’, when I looked up.

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I looked up a saw my own reflection in the mirror.

I did not like what I saw. I looked closer and realized that the lines I was examining now were etched in frown lines. I smiled and the lines disappeared. I frowned and there they were. I thought to myself that I really need to smile more. I realized that for the frown lines to be etched in I must be frowning a whole lot more than smiling.

I know I take myself too seriously too much of the time.

I let the mundaneness and the stresses of life dictate.

I have told the kids a thousand times to pick up their things or finish their work or come set the table and I huff and puff and mumble how nobody listens to me. The milk spills and the bills flow in wave upon wave and the washing machine breaks and my immediate thought is how inconvenient life can be. How it interferes with my plans.

I feel the weight of raising these children up right and fear that most of the time I am failing. I think that I need to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, Christian. I think of the missing family member, and the marriage imploding, and the doctors telling me this week they can’t do anything with me and I just have to wait until I get really bad and start to faint and then they will see if they can fix my heart. And I say it, the tears welling up, that life's not fair, even though I know that it has nothing to do with fair.

With all this, how am I supposed to take myself lightly? When do I have time to smile, to laugh?

Oh, I really do love to laugh. It is just that the seriousness of life often takes over.

But, what about Abraham and Sarah. The writer of this post over at The Rabbit Room caught my attention with:
‘ . . . the joyful laughter of a couple who understand how outlandishly they have been blessed . . . They laughed sardonically when they heard the prediction. They laughed for joy when the prediction came true. So they named their boy “Laughter.”
I read this post just days after seeing my reflection in the bathroom mirror. And I recognized the truth that, yes, I take myself far too seriously.

The writer quotes G.K. Chesterton:
It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. . . . For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.
That’s me! It is easy to be heavy. It just comes naturally ~ the frown lines etched in skin reveal all.
How often I fail to see the hilarity of the Gospel in my life.
There’s a deep pleasure in the gospel that nobody talks about very much, and it is the pleasure of saying, “Oh, What a fool I have been! I was so sure I knew how this thing was going to turn out. I shaped my life around a foolish assumption that the world was telling me the truth about itself and my place in it. I was so wrong! Halleluiah! I lived in fear of things that had no power to harm me! I thought I had to exert my will and get my way! But now I don’t have to anymore. Halleluiah!”
I was/am nothing and yet, God by His unbelievable amazing grace has saved me. He called me ‘out of darkness into his marvelous light.’

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It is the season of waiting. We have so much to rejoice over. To laugh at the impossible because of a babe lying in a manger. God in a manger. God with us.
‘[T]he Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Oh, to laugh. To laugh like the 90 year old mother of nations. The mother who laughed at the prediction. And laughed again when the promise came true.

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I have more reason to laugh than to just change my frown lines into laugh lines.

God has done the impossible. The shoot has come from the stump of Jesse. The root out of dry ground. He knew mundane and He knew brokenness and pain. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

He has welcomed me into His kingdom.

He has told me to count it all joy . . .  when you meet trials of various kinds’ that the testing will develop perseverance to bring me to maturity.

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And so we wait.

Wait for the Greatest Advent ~ His coming again!

And in the waiting I will laugh!



joining up here today

4 comments:

  1. Oh, to laugh. To laugh like the 90 year old mother of nations.

    amen. i love this line. i love the joy and the sense of expectancy in this. bless you friend!

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  2. Rebekah, this has to be one of my favorite pieces you have written. You wrote with such passion and honesty. I will have to read it over again - just to enjoy the full weight of its wisdom. I too loved that line, "laugh like the 90 year old mother of nations."

    I also enjoyed the picture of Lael. How amazing it is to laugh with our children! Life has not been wasted with frowning - imagine all the years of laughter lines ahead of you! I pray a special blessing upon your life. God can do a mighty work - God can turn sadness into dancing...

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    Replies
    1. I love to laugh with my children! I love to laugh with you! You have brought laughter into my life many times.
      Thank you for praying and believing. For laughing along with me. For seeing the Gospel with its joy ~ the Good News!

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