“And they laughed at him, knowing she was dead.” –Luke 8:53
One of the children in the preschool I work at announced to the class during circle time that she was going to be Tinker Bell when she grew up. Everyone, including myself, giggled and the little girl smiled explained she was joking.
We all laughed at her because we knew it was impossible for her to be a fairy when she grew up.
In the English conversation, when a person is trying to describe something that is unlikely to happen, even impossible, they remark, “I will believe that when pigs fly”.
English-understanding people laugh at the remark because they know it is impossible for pigs to fly.
When the colonies of America decided to stand against the great kingdom of England and declare independence, England laughed at them and sent an army to quickly subdue them in service to her majesty.
England laughed because she knew it was impossible for such a band of misfits and refugees to stand against the great kingdom of England.
When God told Noah to make a boat that would require one hundred years of building so that he could place two of each animal in it so that he could preserve a remnant on earth when he sent his flood of rain from heaven and swelling in the deep. When the people heard the warning, they laughed.
They laughed because they knew God was not a living god, surely a thought in the mind of one man-a forgotten God of the past- an mute, unseen God- surely he could not do anything so great.
When God told Sarah she would bear a child in her old age though she had a completely barren womb and had a man whose loins had been dead for many years, she laughed in her tent at the thought that she would bear her “lord” a child at such an old age.
She laughed because she knew it was physically impossible.
When David stood before the Philistine Giant with five stones and a sling-shot against a heroic warrior, undefeated, and well-a giant, he did not waiver at the roaring laugh from the champion who exclaimed, “am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?”
He laughed because he knew it was impossible for such a small boy to defeat a champion like himself with a mere five stones and sling.
When Jesus stalls on his way to heal a young girl, she dies and the servants tell their master not to bother the teacher anymore. Jesus explains that the girl is not dead, but sleeping “and they laughed at him, knowing she was dead”. (Luke 8:53)
They laughed because they knew she was dead and it was therefore impossible for her to be alive again.
I know a lot of things. I know what is impossible. I know what is the limit of my capabilities. I know a lot of things. I know what God can do. I know what is possible in the rules of nature and science and physics and emotions. I know.
I laugh because I know.
But God has begun to show me; I know very little of his power, I know very little of his love, I know very little of his faithfulness, I know very little of his kindness, I know very little of his wrath, I know very little of his possibility, I know very little of him. I know very little of God.
My hope is for my heart to be humbled to the ground and my laughing to be put to shame when God does the impossible: when he brings people back to life. Nothing is impossible with God. No one is too hard for him to soften. No one is too evil for him to forgive. No one is too dead for him to make alive.
It is time for me to know less of limits and to know more of God. Perhaps I will learn to laugh less.