laughing at God

Has God ever spoken to you before? In quiet whispers? In little signs?

Two days ago I woke up early. As I contemplated going back to sleep, I felt the Lord say,

“Get up. I want to show you something.”

Unsure what that was all about, I got up obediently. I thought maybe He wanted me to watch the sun rise. But as I drew back my curtains in my bedroom, something caught my eye out my window.

A jet stream. Going straight up into the sky.

The sun was still just below the horizon, but was lighting up this jet stream beautifully. And I felt the Lord say to me,

“You are about to take off.”

And that’s when I laughed. To myself. But I laughed nonetheless – out of partial awe that the Lord is so faithful in his reassurance, in his gentle nudges, in delivering on His promises. But I also laughed in partial disbelief.

So I went about my day… I made breakfast, showered, went to read to my friend Alex’s fifth grade class, and that’s when I heard it. Again. God’s voice. This time He said,

“Pull over and go look at the ocean.”

I had an audition across town and thought, “I really don’t have time for this.” I sighed and said God, “Okay God, but only if there’s a parking spot.”

There was the largest parking spot I’ve ever seen on Ocean Avenue just a few feet ahead of me – free, no less. So I pulled over, walked to the ocean, and almost cocky was all, “Okay, God. What do you want to show me? Better be good.”

Immediately I felt the Lord say, “See how the ocean stretches as far as your eye can see? Do you not think I have the power to do great things in your life? See this beauty that surrounds? Do you not think I want beauty in your life.” Touche, God.

I look around for a few more moments, watching planes take off over LAX, and then as I turned to leave, I gave God one last chance. “Okay God, I’m leaving… If there’s anything else you want to tell me, now’s the time.” And as I turned to leave, that’s when I saw it.

Another jet stream. Going straight into the sky.

In case I doubted God the first time, there was His reassurance again.

And I laughed. This time with a little more awe. This time with a little less doubt.

I stood frozen, slackjawed, as I watched this second jet stream. What was it? Finally it began to level off, and I saw it was some kind of plane. But clearly no ordinary plane. And I felt the Lord say,

“It takes the most effort when you’re taking off, when you’re traveling straight up into the sky…
1.16.2015 laughing at God PHOTO 1
But then you will reach a time when you will soar.”
1.16.2025 laughing at God PHOTO 2

See, this world can beat us down – with its day to day disappointments, year to year “droughts,” unfulfilled longings and desperate desires of our hearts…

We go on our way, on this steep ascend, almost not wanting to ask for God’s help – in partial belief we can do it on our own, in partial protection of not hearing that dreaded word He has the authority with which to say: “no.”

But what if it’s a “yes”? If we are relying on ourselves, we’re going to miss the incredible opportunity to point back all of our success to God and say, “Not because of anything I do, but only because of who You are.”

I’m so grateful for the Lord’s reassurance, his gentle whispers, his specials signs meant just for me. In fact, I didn’t even attempt to snap a photo of either jet stream, against my usual inclination. I simply felt the Lord say, “This is just for you.”

And when I got home that night just as the sun was setting and I was scrubbing dishes in my kitchen sink…. I saw one more. A third jet stream. In case the first two weren’t enough.

This time I couldn’t doubt it. This time I didn’t laugh.

The Lord said to Abraham, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son… Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself…” [To which God responded,] Is anything too hard for the Lord?– Genesis 18:10-14

“Meanwhile, God kept repeating the amazing promise that Sarah would become the mother of a nation. Abraham fell face down and laughed incredulously at the notion… After all her years of waiting, her longings were fulfilled.” – Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford

Abraham and Sarah named their son Isaac. His name means, “He laughs.”

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