Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 5, 2015

March 5, 2015 “Good Medicine”

Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21: 5-6)

Good Morning Everyone! This is the Day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

There is particular rejoicing in our home this day. Just a few days ago, my second-youngest son Zachary called us with the news that our already considerable family would be expanding by one (not to mention my daughter-in-law, who will also be expanding), come this October! This will bring our total grandchild count to twenty-two! Children are a blessing from God and living examples of His amazing grace, so we consider ourselves to be abundantly blessed by God. I know that some would laugh at the notion of having twenty-two grandchildren. Of course, having eleven children greatly increases the likelihood of such a brood, but it is nonetheless wonderful news, so we laugh as well,  but perhaps not for the same reason. Our laughter is more akin with that of Sarah when she was informed that she was going to have a son in her advanced years. Her husband was already a centenarian, and she was close to that herself. Upon receiving the news of her quite unanticipated pregnancy, Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.”  She even named her son “Isaac”, Hebrew for “Laughter”. What a perfect name for a child that was truly a gift of God’s grace and evidence of His greatness and faithfulness. He had, after all, promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, even giving him a new name as His guarantee. 

Though it is not my bride and I expecting the birth of our own child (which truly would be hilarious), we laugh with Zach and Lyndsay, our son and daughter-in-law, and all of our family, with this wonderful news. Each precious addition to our family is new evidence of God’s great grace, as it was for Abraham and Sarah, for we do not merit such extraordinary blessing. Twentieth-century theologian Karl Barth rightly noted that,

“Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.”

It is the closest thing because it, along with tears of joy, is the proper, spontaneous response to God’s amazing grace. Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine.” Perhaps you are not expecting a child or a grandchild…perhaps you are…but all of us can find reason to laugh, for there are evidences of God’s grace all around us, so let go a laugh, and let’s pray!

“Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee, God of Glory, Lord of Love! Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness…drive the dark of doubt away. Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day.” Fill our hearts with merriment and laughter, O Lord, as we delight in your abundant grace. This we pray in Jesus’ wonderful Name. Amen!



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