I can still remember the first time I ever saw someone use the expression “LOL”. It was in a social media setting. I racked my brain. I couldn’t figure out what it meant. So I asked. The response was simple:

Laughing out Loud.

From the very start, I haven’t liked or even enjoyed using the occasional, “LOL”. I’m going to be 38 this month. Maybe it’s because of this fact that I don’t embrace most terms like, “LOL”. Something about them bother me. If I’m going to say something is funny, I figure there are a thousand more creative ways to say it than a simple, “LOL”.

Now, if you are an “LOL” user, I’m in no way condemning you, just stating my reasons for not using the term.

Did you know there are actually “LOL’s” in the Bible?

It’s in Genesis chapter 17 that the Bible has a record of it’s very first “LOL”. Genesis 17:17 “Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?'”

Genesis 18:10-11 “The Lord said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”

These two found the whole thing laughable. And I’m sure we all would. But God is in the business of making the impossible a reality- and that’s no laughing matter. Abraham and Sarah, the parents of the Nation of Israel, literally laughed out loud at the prospect of having a child in their old age.

I have to admit it is a bit funny to think of a 90-year-old woman giving birth to a child. Yet just a few chapters later, in Genesis 21, Abraham and Sarah’s, “LOL”, which had been fraught with sarcasm and unbelief, changed.

Genesis 21:1-3 “The Lord visited Sarah as he had said and the Lord did as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age… Abraham called the name of his son, who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.” In verse 6, Sarah says, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.”

Indeed, the very name of the baby, “Isaac” means, “He laughs” or, “laughter”!

It turned into a joyful laugh. God took what once was the bitter laughter of an unbelieving couple, and gave them joyful, grateful, amazed laughter. The new laughter Sarah and Abraham enjoyed was the laughter of parents, overcome with joy and thanksgiving. And it was shared with all people who knew them and heard of their story.

In this new year it’s my desire for us to turn any unbelieving “LOL” into the laughter that rings with gratitude.

What promises do you believe are impossible, or even laughable? What gifts have you given up on believing are for you? Can we renew our faith in a God who not only promises the impossible, but delivers it? I hope we can all be capable of the kind of “LOL” that only comes from true belief. It springs from the joy of our faith in a God who sees us, and remembers us.

He wants good things for us. And when we realize that, we can’t help but let out a genuine, “LOL”, can we?

Writing in answer to His call,

Hosanna Barton


3 thoughts on “LOL

  1. This hits ridiculously close to home for me. I can’t thank you enough for “writing in answer to His call”. (And I’m holding you to your promise to laugh out loud with me when He turns mourning into dancing…and laughing!)

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