“First Abraham and Sarah laughed at the impossibility of the blessing. Then they laughed because the impossible came to life. And God laughed with them, memorializing their laughter in the name of their son, who would remind them of the joy that comes at the end of a long season of painful waiting.”- Tina Boesch
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And [Gabriel] departed from her.- Luke 1:38 (NIV)
As Tina Boesch continues Chapter 6 of Given, she observes that Sarah’s faith never broke, despite how thin it might have been stretched. Therefore, posterity remembers Sarah as a woman of faith, not a woman of doubt.
So when Mary heard the angel Gabriel’s words that nothing is impossible with God, it wasn’t the first time. Schooled in the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Mary knew these very words featured prominently in the birth of Isaac – the miracle child. Consequently, when Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary, and announced she’d give birth to a son, Mary didn’t laugh. Instead, she believed.
Yet, when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to dedicate Him, Simeon prophesied. After he blessed them, Simeon told them that a sword would pierce their own soul. As Tina adds, “wrapped within God’s greatest blessing was the sharpened edge of a blade.”
Finally, Tina takes a look at the Beatitudes, finding them puzzling in the best of circumstances. The author admits that it’s easier to grasp the future state of blessing in each Beatitude. Because the present blessing, on the surface, doesn’t seem like much of a blessing at all.
First, Tina states that the word blessed represents the English translation of the Greek word makarios. However, the author notes, the word blessed fails to capture the full meaning of the concept:
“It points to the deep and abiding joy people experience from being certain of their relationship with God and of their welcome in his kingdom.”
In the next blog, Tina delves into one specific Beatitude – Blessed are those who mourn.
Today’s question: When have you laughed at the impossibility of blessing? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Supernatural joy in the midst of suffering”