GOD had promised Sarah a son! But she was old, and so was Abraham, her husband -- way past the age when they could expect to have children. ``Therefore Sarah laughed within herself....''1 Yet, in due time, Isaac was born, and a New Testament writer, referring to this event, says, ``Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.''2 We can draw a useful lesson from the way in which Sarah's initial incredulity yielded to trust in God.
The Bible contains wonderful promises that can apply to each one of us if we, like Sarah, judge ``him faithful who...promised'' and expect to see them fulfilled in our lives rather than dismiss them as comforting words but hardly relevant today.
The Bible represents God as saying, ``Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.''3 Of course, God's promises demand something of us. In this instance we are to call upon Him, be willing to trust Him in wholehearted acceptance of His ever-available love and power.
Why do we hesitate to do this, and doubt that it's possible to glorify Him in health and well-being? Is it perhaps that we wonder if God is willing to help us or if He has the necessary power and resources? If so, we need to understand more about the nature of God.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, defines God as ``the great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.''4
When we turn to God for help, we are turning to Love, infinite, all-encompassing Love, whose nature is to bless. We are trusting omniscient, creative Mind to care for its own creation, and we are acknowledging that God, Principle, is all-powerful.
On one occasion my teen-age daughter suddenly became ill. Making her as comfortable as possible, I turned to the explanation of God just quoted. I thought about each reference to God's nature, trying to understand Him more fully and to recognize that we are secure in His care. Several questions came to thought. Does the divine Mind, who is also Love, cause or sustain illness? Since God is all-wise and all-loving, can I accept that He deems it necessary to allow such suffering? Can divine Life possibly include anything that refutes its own vitality and well-being? Does eternal Principle, whose operation supports all real being in perfect, harmonious order, provide a basis for stress or injury?
The answer to each question had to be ``No.'' As I continued praying, I began to feel that God truly is All-in-all, that there is no place in His allness for sickness and no place exists outside His allness. The true nature of His creation is good and whole because God is perfect Spirit.
In a short time my daughter was well. The Biblical promises that turn us to God are utterly practical, and our trust in Him to fulfill them in our experience need not be a blind faith but rather a faith strengthened by an intelligent understanding of Him. This sort of faith is willing to meet the demands implicit in God's promises, knowing that hand in hand with childlike trust in His power and love goes the absolute certainty of His power and willingness to bless us. Perhaps one of the most important lessons we can learn from the Bible story of Sarah is that we can trust God to fulfill His promises, and gratefully expect to experience His love for us.
Yes, Sarah laughed, but she accepted the blessing, and when she held Isaac in her arms she may well have laughed again -- for joy!
1Genesis 18:12. 2Hebrews 11:11. 3Psalms 50:15. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 587. The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Psalms 77:13,14