Freedom to laugh
Genesis 18: 15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
I resonate with Sarah a lot in this passage. In particular, it makes sense to me both why she would laugh and why she would feel afraid for being called out on it. If I had to guess, I would say that she has internalized the things her culture says about doubting the gods (or God in her case), and she is worried that her private doubts will put her out of favor with the divine.
But we don't see that happen here. In fact, it’s kind of a weird passage. Once the visitor says, “Yes, you did laugh,” that’s the end of it. No judgmental speech. No condemnation. No retracting the promise of a son. Just “Yes, you did laugh.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and read this as an interaction designed mostly just to make it okay for Sarah to admit publicly that she has doubts in private. What if that’s what’s going on here? What if God wants it to be possible for you to express your doubts and just leave them there? What doubts might you express in a space of freedom like that?