Laugh With Me

I loved my devotional this morning. It helped that I actually got to sleep in because I have the day off. Worked all weekend. And I do mean WORKED. I love the Deeper Still events but, because they last a half day longer than a regular LPL’s and the sessions are super long, you go home pretty wiped. Hence the day off. (I don’t take Monday’s off because of staff prayer time.) So, I was really rested when I was sitting propped up in my bed having my prayer time this morning. The Scripture hit me so tenderly that I nearly cried. You know the story. It’s about God’s fulfilled promise to Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Read the portion again and intentionally look at it as a woman because that’s sort of what this post is about. Be amazed and thankful that God has a long history of also making and keeping promises to women.

Genesis 21:1-7 (GW)
1 The Lord came to help Sarah and did for her what he had promised.
2 So she became pregnant, and at the exact time God had promised, she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age.
3 Abraham named his newborn son Isaac.
4 When Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded.
5 Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born.
6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.
7 Who would have predicted to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet, I have given him a son in his old age.”

I got stuck on that part that says, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” I sat in a carload of women in front of the hotel in Denver Saturday night. We’d just spent all evening together at a restaurant. You might reason that we’d spent all weekend together but we just kept talking a hundred miles an hour and didn’t want to get out of the car. It’s just a woman thing. Our ages ranged well over twenty years but for that moment, we were BFF. Kelly Minter and I were in the back seat and I looked straight at her and said, “Yep. This is what I love about women. I love being a woman.”

Cheesy. I know.

But I do.

I thought it was so cool that Sarah knew that many would laugh with her. If I were a betting woman, I’d wager that she was talking about other women. I can’t see the men really slapping their leg over it, then clapping, and then throwing up their hands and shouting, “Glory!” like me and my buddies would do. I’d bet they just slapped Abe on the back and said, “Way to go, man.” Most of the time, if God’s really done something cool in my life, I like to tell my girlfriends about it because I know they’ll laugh and clap their hands, too. In fact, I intentionally tell the ones that I know will most appreciate it.

It doesn’t have to be something really huge like Sarah’s miracle either. Women can find all sorts of things to laugh with one another over. Here are a few I’ve experienced just here lately:

Melissa: While we were in Israel, we went out in the parking lot to wave good bye to the first half of our group departing for the States. The rest of us would not be going till the next morning. There was a bit of a delay and they had to sit for a few minutes before taking off so I decided to start entertaining them (outside the bus on the pavement) with cheers, a few little dance moves, and kicking my feet to the side and clicking my heels (yes, in a dress. It is a move I do very well). To my great surprise, Melissa got into it with me and up and did two cartwheels for them. (Not in a dress.) It made me so happy that I laughed and laughed. My little budding scholar! I said to her while I bent over laughing, “You have what it takes for women’s ministry, Honey!”

Amanda: Melissa and I always say that AJ is the funniest one of the three of us. She’s just not the extrovert so it’s not as obvious. Here lately she hopped in the car with me on our way somewhere and I said, “What’s that in your hand?” She said, “My Weight Watchers charm. I got it for reaching my goal. I’m going to put it on Annabeth’s charm bracelet so she knows what I had to do to get over her.” I clapped and laughed, not only over AB’s well deserved charm but over AJ’s darling college-looking post-partum figure. A met goal is worth laughing and celebrating together.

Kelly Minter: You know what a big fan I am of Kelly’s. I love her. I love watching these young women teachers come and take their places. I cannot describe my joy or my peculiar feelings of elation over it. I sat on the front row at Deeper Still next to my beloved Priscilla when Kelly took the stage to share a devotional early Saturday morning. As she took that platform, she would speak to more people (by several thousand) than she’d ever addressed before…and she killed it. (I hope you realize that’s a good thing.) Honestly, I pumped my fist in the air and yelled, “Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!” Hawk looked around and said, “Did anybody hear her do that but me?” I couldn’t help myself.

A person I can’t name yet: A very dear loved one of mine is expecting her first baby and I am beside myself. I nearly hurt myself with joy when she told me over the phone. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I love God for what He’s done in her life. I will love this child next to my own blood grandchildren.

Another really close loved one: She’s the one whose 1-year chip from AA I showed you several weeks ago. God is so busy restoring the years the locusts have eaten in her life that, if He weren’t omnipotent, He’d honestly have no time for the rest of us. We have laughed and laughed over the wonders He has done in her behalf.

What about you? Is there anything wonderful God has done in your life – big or small – that this community of women could laugh with you about? Look back at those Scriptures. Has God done anything for you about which you could say, “God has brought me laughter” or “Who would have predicted…?” Give us the chance to clap our hands and laugh with you.

I’ll close this post with the devotional that accompanied those Scriptures this morning. It’s Charles Spurgeon. It about killed me in the Spirit. I loved it so much. Enjoy, Siestas. Your Mama loves you.

It was far above the power of nature, and even contrary to its laws, that the aged Sarah should be honoured with a son; and even so it is beyond all ordinary rules that I, a poor, helpless, undone sinner, should find grace to bear about in my soul the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus. I, who once despaired, as well I might, for my nature was as dry, and withered, and barren, and accursed as a howling wilderness, even I have been made to bring forth fruit unto holiness. Well may my mouth be filled with joyous laughter, because of the singular, surprising grace which I have received of the Lord, for I have found Jesus, the promised seed, and He is mine for ever. This day will I lift up psalms of triumph unto the Lord who has remembered my low estate, for “my heart rejoiceth in the Lord; mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies, because I rejoice in Thy salvation.” I would have all those that hear of my great deliverance from hell, and my most blessed visitation from on high, laugh for joy with me.
Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening.

PS. Speaking of things fairly peculiar to women, I thought I might go ahead and tell you that I typed this whole thing standing up in my wrap-around terry cloth robe so my self tanner could dry. I want to be tan on my birthday.


575 Responses to “Laugh With Me”

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  1. 401
    Angela H says:

    I’m laughing because my quiet time left coffee splatter stains all over the siding of my house. Don’t ask! Another senseless Bible study accident….

  2. 402
    Dana says:

    I just absolutely love the self tanning part. Yes, I done the same thing! Perfect!

  3. 403
    Bettie Tolar says:

    God did the most amazing thing in our lives last August 2009. He put two precious twin girls in our life in a way that only He could have orchastrated. From the time my kids found out there were two little girls who needed a home until we all went and picked them up was FIVE DAYS!!! The adoption is final, final, final. Praise our wonderful Father. He did so much more than we could ever think or imagine. Only God!

  4. 404
    Michelle says:

    My daughter got saved at church camp last night—and I was there—and God allowed lowly me to be the one to lead her through the prayer to Christ. Let me tell ya…there was some major laughter through tears going on after that!!

  5. 405
    Beth says:

    I can’t begin to describe all the laughter that is in my life – from the small jokes in the car with my best friend when we’re exhausted and saying anything to just STAY AWAKE on the way home to what I know MUST be God-ordained ‘moments’ in my days that just call for a ton of laughter. It is so good. =)

  6. 406
    Hattie says:

    had to come back & comment….I taught children’s church yesterday and our story was on Sarah. One of the little boys was named Issac, he said he was going to tell him Mom that his name meant “laughter”. Thanks be to God & thank you Beth, I must have needed that!

  7. 407
    Kimberly says:

    Mama (Beth),

    I cried today at reading those words, “Your mama loves you.” I have had a turbulant relationship with my own mother, to say the least. This weekend was no exception. We got together to celebrate my son’s 11th birthday so I had to attend:) But guess what? I did it! I survived the mother’s unrelentless criticsm and came out with my security in tact! While I have to say that once I arrived home I had the battle of my life on my hands with the torment in my mind for the last 36 hours. I have clung to Isaiah 33:6. I have said to myself again and again that God is my security! I was struggling this morning with feeling just plain unlovable. I reached for my third helping of butterscotch blondies at 11:00 am and logged onto my computer. Nothing like self destruction to make a girl feel even worse about herself. I needed to hear a friendly voice. I was going to watch an taping of you on James Robinson but decided to look at the blog instead. And there they were. The sweetest words I needed to hear! I love you! And they were from my Mama!

    I have four beautiful children. I have been pregnant five times and all five times I told my mother I was pregnant she cried bitter tears of anger and disappointment. She felt I was throwing my life away to be a stay at home mother. She always wanted me to be a career woman. In fact, it was drilled into my head that I need a man for nothing! (Imagine the battle my dear husband had on his hands the first three years of our marriage.) I don’t remember which study, I think it was the Inheritance study, but you were talking about Amanda being pregnant with your second grandchild – a girl. Then by the end of the study, Annabeth had been born and you held her and showed her off. Thank God I was the leader of that study and previewed the DVD’s before viewing them as a group. I wept for three days straight. I showed it to my husband. He, too, cried. We were amazed. God spoke to both of our hearts and told us that is the joy He had for us when He knew we were expecting even before we did. We were both healed from a life of living according to other people’s expectations. We want to live for God’s glory and His alone.

    One more thing. My son, whose birthday we celebrated, has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before my oldest child was born, I had gone to college to become a teacher in special education. I only had my student teaching left to complete when we decided I should stay at home with our precious daughter. It has been priceless for me to have that educational background in caring for our son. While others may look at my college time as a waste, God knew beforehand that I would need that education to best care for His child.

    Anyway, just wanted to say, “I love you too!” You and your dear daughters. I thank you for being the example I need so desperately in my life! I just finished So Long Insecurity and I know I could not have survived this weekend without my newfound security. I am clothed with strength and dignity and No One can take it from me! I am determined to stop giving away what God died to free me from.

    Lots of love from your on-line daughter,


    PS – Please excuse the typos. It is summer vacation. Lord, help me! 🙂

  8. 408
    Amy says:

    Who would have thunk it that in the midst of grieving for a sibling making choices that are leading him down an even deeper path of despair…..and dealing with the ongoing alcohol addiction of a parent who is looking to everything else except GOD….and also dealing with my own insecurity issues regarding just about everything you covered in your book…..,ironically I am in a new season of joy and deeper spiritual awareness than I’ve ever been. At 37, with two toddlers and an onery husband, I feel that God is moving me into the calling he’s placed on my life. 40 is approaching, I’ve had two articles published in my mega-church’s magazine, and I’m believing so desperately for God’s miracles and sovereign good will that I can laugh with the certainty and genuine knowledge that God has me, my sibling, my parent, and everyone else dear to me IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND.
    Thank you for an exceptional post…..and ministry.

  9. 409
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if anyone will read this since this comment is so late. And that’s totally ok. I just wanted to say how thankful I am for this post. My dear hubby and I have been TTC for over a yr now and (how do I put this tactfully?) we found out June 15 that yet again that this month was not the month that we would become parents.

    I was pretty devastated and heartbroken that Tuesday. I cried until my eyes were swollen and my heart was numb. Then I came in to work wed. morning and this was one of the first things I read. God is so sweet. He ministered to me deeply through His promise to Sarah. And I hope and pray for the faith to say ““God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” I understand how much worse this all could be. I know there are dear sweet ladies who have tried for much longer than me. And in any case, He’s absolutely given me a compassionate heart towards those women and caused me to pray even harder for them.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. He used them to breathe some life and hope into me that day.

  10. 410
    Hannah says:

    Laughing and clapping at the work God is doing restoring my marriage. He finally agreed to marriage counseling…and actually doing the work, not just showing up. We are both learning so much about ourselves and each other. I think I’m falling more in love with him each day!

  11. 411
    Hannah says:

    PS to my above comment. This blog entry is some specifics on how God is using you, along with my counselor to not only free myself, but to help free my husband to be who God has made us to be, not what we think the other person wants. My heart was softened through your new book and the conference in Woodstock, GA…and it all really starting clicking together for me this week.

  12. 412
    Dori says:

    Goodness, I’m so late commenting these days on these posts!! I loved this because there is nothing more therapeutic to the soul than good belly laughs and I’ve had my fair share — most of the time with my sweet Sisters in Christ!

    I have to tell you that one of the best times I ever had in the Word was just about 3 years ago with a group of about 25 ladies at our church. They wanted to do a study and they chose A Heart Like His. I had facilitated that study when it first came out and I knew it was awesome and I knew we would have the best time in the Word.

    I don’t like icebreakers and always struggle with what to do on the first day of Bible study. But for this particular gathering, I HAD IT! I e-mailed them all ahead of time and asked them to bring a picture of them with the biggest hair that they ever sported. And they did! We had a ball looking at everyone’s picture and laughing, laughing, laughing! However, they still didn’t “get” why I had them bring a big hair picture.

    Until right when I started the video.

    I did it something like this. We prayed and then I said, “Okay girls, you all love Beth Moore and many of you have seen her in person recently. I want you to know that I am going to turn on the video and then I’m going to pause it. When I do, you take a look at Beth back then and get all of your giggles out! Beth loves her some big hair, but I believe that in this study it was the biggest that it has ever been or will be again.”

    Then I hit play, then pause and we laughed and laughed and laughed!!! Not at you, mind you. But with you, because Beth — your hair was quite small compared to some of the pictures I had seen just prior to starting that video that day!!! They could laugh, but they could not defend themselves!! These girls had had their fair share of Aquanet moments!!! 🙂

    What made me think of this today is that I was at the Lifeway website to download a video for a study I’m starting and lo and behold if Lifeway hasn’t put those David videos for everyone to download. I hit play and I marveled at your big hair greatness once again!!!

    Yes, I love being a woman. I love big hair. And I love that God has brought us together through His Word.

    Have a wonderful day, friend!


  13. 413
    Jan Patterson says:

    I know this is an older post, but I have just read it today. My church is currently going through the Esther Bible study and I am amazed at what God is revealing to me. But I have to share with you something that makes me laugh and cry with joy. On May 22, my sweet 30 year old son married the love of his life. He waited 9 years for her to fall in love with him, and fall she did. She looks at him with the biggest goo goo eyes and grin it melts my heart. The part that makes me laugh is this: I got pregnant with him when I was 17 years old. I was obviously a promiscuous young girl who needed a man to validate her. Thanks to Jesus and “Breaking Free” I have identified the contributing factors and was able to spare my own children the same grief. Praise God I am still married to the sweet man that fathered my children. (More laughter) But here’s the thing, my sweet boy went to his marriage bed a virgin. Imagine that. What healing for his mama and daddy to see the cycle broken! We laugh and cry with joy over what God has allowed us to see Him do in our children’s lives. Restoring the years the locust have stolen……hahahahahahahaha!

  14. 414
    Jeanne Adadms says:

    I just had to share what the Lord did for me tonight. I have been married for 23 years but often lonely. I’m sure some of you know what I mean. Well, I lay in bed grieving my lonliness with my husband in the next room watching baseball as usual. I decided to turn to the Lord and see if I could find comfort in Him. I started listening to some praise songs on youtube and just concentrating on the Love the Lord had for me. Then all of a sudden my husband walks in the room, comes and lays down by me and hugs me. Now he NEVER does that. It was so evident that the Lord prompted him to do that. The Lord never ceases to amaze me with gentle reminders that He’s there for me.

  15. 415
    Charlotte Gott says:

    Okay, this is really late for this entry. This is not what I would say is exactly funny, but it IS joyful. And I just have to put this somewhere on this blog. But first, a little background.

    I lived in Malawi (sub-Saharan Africa) as a volunteer in mission for about 14 months. My housemate was a OB-GYN named Sue Makin. One day, she was driving down a dirt road, looking for a house, and realizing that she was lost, saw a Malawian boy and asked him directions. He spoke some English, and in typical Malawian fashion, he got into her car to escort her to the place.

    In talking, she discovered that (1) he was an orphan (so very common) (2) he was about to finish secondary school (3) he was a very good student. She told him when he received his scores for his post-secondary school examination (it’s a national test), to bring them to her house. He did and he had scored very high. She agreed to pay his tuition to the university (he would not have gone if she did not).

    I arrived in Malawi his first year at university and I got to know him well. Sue became “mum” and I became “aunt.” Now he is graduated, is working for the Christian Hospital Association of Zambia as an accountant, and he is able to care for his orphan brothers, his nephews and niece, and his orphan sister who is married to a man who infected her with HIV.

    Neither Sue nor I accept any accolades for our efforts, which were so small and so full of joy. I can say that I am filled with absolute joy when I see what God has done in Chifundo’s life, and I want to celebrate with others!

    Living in Malawi and reading the scriptures, I was overwhelmed by the number of references that are made regarding God being the protector of orphans and widows.

    The name “Chifundo” means “merciful” in his language, the language of the Chewa tribe. And what a merciful God we have who put Sue on that dirt road on that particular hour of that particular day!

    Below is a recent letter from Chifundo:

    Hi Aunt Charlotte,

    Receive my warm regards from a chilly Lusaka. Is your profile picture shot from your house?I love it. I just spoke to Mum Sue and she told me she is flying to Malawi soon to do some health related assignments.

    I am fine and God is great. I am still sharing and gaining a lot from my stay in Zambia. Next Tuesday,I will go out for 2 weeks to conduct grants utilisation audits in about 5 organisations.

    News from Malawi; my sisters,nephews and the niece as well as my brothers are all doing great. The brothers are at school. About my niece, she is now on lactogen after the doctors had advised that she stops being breast fed after 6months. So far my sister is ok and she is not yet on Anti retro-viral. She is supposed to undergo a CD4 count again in December.

    Lately, I have been thinking of venturing into some sort of business probably electronics,cellphones, iPods or iPhones as well as stationery. Right now, am thinking of getting a bank loan so that I can finance this venture. But I will not rush;firstly, I want to get connections with people who are staying in more developed countries so that I can make an assessment and make my business plan.I have realised that the money from my salary cannot sustain the overwhelming responsibility that is on my shoulders as far as my family is concerned.

    Have a great weekend.

    Lots of love,

  16. 416
    Anonymous says:

    Dang. I’m not the kind that delights in the throwing of a pity party, but this post excited me for a brief moment and then brought me to sadness. I love getting to share joy with you Beth; it’s infectious even from blogging distance. And I got the tingling of it from this blog. but as you asked the question about what made us laugh recently, I am reminded that I have lost my “laughing buddies”.

    A close-knit circle of girlfriends that was second only to my family has been removed from my life. mental illness devoured my dearest and beloved mentor and has left me and our bond of sisters in bereavement. Psalm 42 is precious to me, as David tells his own soul “Why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the lifter of my face and my God.”

    This verse is my cling-to blankie from God. He wraps me up in it and says, “don’t let your sweet little soul be sad. You will again laugh and find fellowship in worship. Spring never lasts but it always comes again.”

    Yall just pray that laughter- true God-sister laughter – finds it way back into my world. I do miss it so! But I earnestly rejoice for all of you who are getting healthy heaps of it!!!

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