It’s Okay to Laugh at God

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Abby Norman -Okay to Laugh at God3

I don’t know that I was explicitly told in Sunday School that what you said to God was “Yes, sir,” but nevertheless I got the message loud and clear. Good girls say “yes” when God calls. The faithful always answer, “Here am I. Send me.” Even if God says crazy things to you, if you are sure it is God, you go do the things.

Isn’t that what Abraham did? Didn’t he say “Yes, God” and take Isaac up a mountain? Didn’t Gideon (after making sure it was God) say, “Okay I guess we are doing the thing?” Didn’t Mary, the mother of God, say, “Let it be.”? Even in lessons on missionaries there was usually a moment where God said something that sounded insane, and they said, “Okay.” Isn’t that the only way to respond to God?

It isn’t that I don’t aspire to be a “Yes, God” kind of girl, it’s that I’ve always been a little … mouthy. It’s just that I have clarifying questions and useful information maybe God hasn’t thought about. I have the way I think things should go and I want God to know about them. Occasionally I need to simply ask God, “This is a joke, right?”

Does this disqualify me from being used by God? Does this mean I’m missing out on some of God’s blessings?

Nope. It doesn’t. It means I am acting a lot like a lot of people in Genesis. There are plenty of people who talk back to God. My favorite is Sarah, wife of Abraham, who overhears that she is going to get pregnant post-menopause and starts laughing. She laughs at God–and who can blame her? I feel like maybe the Sunday School lessons would have frowned on laughing at God. Luckily, God totally gets it. God isn’t the only one who responds with less than “Yes, sir” when God comes calling.

Lot bargains with God, and God honors his bargaining. The God of the universe goes back and forth with Lot and says, “Okay, I will hold off on my plans.” I didn’t know I was allowed to bargain with God!

Hagar is maybe my favorite. Not only does she get to talk to God any kind of way, God allows Hagar to name God. She is allowed to NAME the creator of the universe. She calls God: “One who sees me.”

Then there is Jacob, who wrestles with God, who actually physically wrestles with God. In the middle of the desert, with a rock for a pillow, God speaks to Jacob and when God goes to leave, Jacob actually physically wrestles a blessing out of God. Jacob actually TELLS God, “You aren’t leaving until you bless me.” And God honors that. God HONORS when Jacob says no! Bless me!

I’ve never really been a “yes girl.” I’m just not built like that. I have questions. I have thoughts. I have opinions. I have ideas about how things should go. I sometimes laugh at inappropriate times. I sometimes demand a blessing from God.

Y’all. That is okay. God MADE me like that. God already knows I’m mouthy. It pleases God. And God is responsive to me, with all of my sass. And I know this is true because I am not the first person to laugh at God, or question God, or ask for something. There are as many examples of responses to God as there are stories in the Bible. You can laugh at God. Sometimes you can’t help it. God already knows that.

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Abby Norman
Abby Norman lives, and loves in the city of Atlanta. She lives with her two hilarious children and a husband that doubles as her biggest fan. When not mothering, teaching, parenting or “wifeing”, she blogs at accidentaldevotional.com. Abby loves to make up words and is excited by the idea that Miriam Webster says you can verb things.
Abby Norman

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  • Sandy Hay

    “I’ve always been a little…mouthy.” I laughed out loud. I was raised to not be mouthy but I learned to do it in my head. Another example of my subversion. I need to take your lead more often Abby. It might get me into a bit of trouble but it will be worth it 🙂 xoxo

  • Olivia Butz

    Love this. I would definitely lump myself in here… I tend to argue it out a lot. I do also sympathize a bit with Jonah. 😉

  • Amen to laughing at inappropriate times and finding yourself more mouthy than the next guy. Amen to embracing not being meek and mild, if that’s not how we’re wired. And Amen to responding to God with laughter, because I think there are far worse ways to respond!

  • I love this! I hope we can laugh at and with and because of God. Thankful that he created ALL of these ways of interacting with creation.

  • I think friends of mine might read this and think you were describing me. Definitely not a yes girl and the questions I have about the bible drives my husband crazy! It’s kind of fun seeing him squirm on those 😉