Sarah seems to have led a privileged life. She was the beloved wife of Abraham, a successful and wealthy man who experienced God’s favor. However, a closer look at her story reveals significant sorrows and struggles woven into her soul.
She knew what it was like to live during a famine. She suffered the shame of being called her husband’s “sister,” and only by God’s intervention was she protected from having to stay in the harems of powerful foreign rulers. Sarah’s greatest sorrow was being unable to bear a child. Years of crushing disappointment culminated in her attempt to produce an heir through surrogacy, using her slave Hagar. This situation triggered some incredibly ugly behavior in Sarah and Hagar.
And yet, we see God is the Hero in this story, just as He is in every Bible story. God fulfilled His promise that Sarah would bear a son to Abraham. When Sarah was 90 years old, she did indeed have her miraculous baby boy. Here is her response: “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age.” Genesis 20:6-7.
You can hear her joy in her words, and she wishes to share that exuberance with all around her. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Earth laughs in flowers,” and as I painted this expression of color and light, my heart heard Sarah’s voice, encouraging me to laugh with her. It has been an astonishingly difficult year for us all, and as we step into Spring, may the flowers we see help us remember Sarah’s laughter.