“Hurry! We have guests!” shouted Sarah as she rushed into the tent. Sarah looked as she felt, anxious and harried as she began to fill Abraham’s request.
The three visitors seemed to have come out of thin air. The way Abraham was acting told Sarah they must be important. As Abraham began to wash their feet, Sarah began to cook.
The yeasty aroma reached her nose as Sarah’s thoughts returned to the three men. She kneaded the bread. Punch. Fold. Roll. Who were they? Where did they come from? A little more flour, punch. Fold. Roll. What did they want with us?
Abraham brought the prepared calf into the tent and took a moment to look at his wife. His thoughts rolled through the many years with this beautiful, faithful woman. How could he have been so richly blessed?
“Sarah, please let me know when this meat is ready to be served to our guests.” Sarah responded, “Of course my lord.” With a playful gleam in her eye she asked, “Will you be telling these men I’m your wife or your sister?” They both smiled remembering old times together under very different circumstances. Abraham gently touched her elbow and gave her a peck on the cheek.
As Abraham left the tent, Sarah put the bread into the oven for baking. She jerked the handle of the wooden paddle causing the bread pans to slide. At the same time she heard her name, as clear as a bell; they were talking about her.
The question was asked, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
Where did they think she was? In Timbuktu? Of course she was in the tent, who else was going to feed them?
The question acted as a rope pulling her towards the door. She wanted to hear more. Eavesdropping? No! Indignantly she thought she was just “overhearing” a conversation. Since they were discussing her, why shouldn’t she listen?
Sarah continued to move closer.
“Where is your wife, Sarah?” Well at least they knew she was Abraham’s wife and not his sister!
Abraham responded, “There, in the tent,” as he lifted his hand to show which one.
It was then Sarah heard the most hilarious statement of her life. “I will surely return to you about this time next year and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Forgetting where she was, Sarah burst out laughing. “Are you kidding me?” she thought. “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Sarah continued to laugh and then began to compose herself as the conversation continued.
“Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”
Ice ran through her veins as Sarah’s cheeks began to flush. She realized these men, these very important men, caught her. They heard her laughter. She was busted.
Sarah did what most of us would do. She lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
It was then the man looked at her. The man with eyes that seemed to look into her heart. The eyes that knew her story. The eyes that knew her deep desire to have a child. Those eyes that saw into her very being replied, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Sarah had no response. He knew.
Embarrassed, Sarah returned to the tent to finish the meal. For the rest of the visit, Sarah remained quiet and away from the group of four as they conversed about heavenly things. After a time the visitors left and Abraham returned to the tent.
Knowing his wife, Abraham came to Sarah and just hugged her.
“Do you believe him?” Sarah asked.
Abraham replied, seeming confused, “Believe who about what?” It was obvious that Abraham had other things on his mind.
“Typical man! Didn’t you hear what that man said? He said we will have a son by next year. Do you believe him?” Sarah asked.
Playfully Abraham replied, “Sarah, we talked about many things today, not just that.” As Abraham began to play with a lock of Sarah’s hair, he began to stroke the shoulder of his wife of many years. Abraham simply said, “Yes, I do believe him.” He began to kiss her.
Sarah began to question, “Why do you believe him? What else did they say?”
Sarah’s mouth was covered with kisses from the man she had lived with for most of her life. No more questions were asked that night.
Her answer came about a year later when her son, Isaac was born.
“By faith, Abraham, even though he was past age-and Sarah herself was barren-was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. Hebrews 11:11-12 NIV”