9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh
I find this passage rather comical. Sarah finds the Lord’s promise incredulous and inwardly laughs. But of course, with God no inward thought is private. When He calls her out she tries to deny it, but He reiterates “nay; but thou didst laugh.”
And then He drops it. He reproved her for doubting Him and corrected her for lying to Him, but He doesn’t need to punish her for having a moment of everyday human incredulity.
Because Sarah’s behavior is actually very common. When we speak with God we frequently forget just who it is we’re talking to. I, myself, have tried to bargain with Him and con Him, I’ve made promises that I knew I wouldn’t keep, and I’ve quickly disbelieved His declarations of love. I’ve made the mistake of seeing Him as just another man, and He has called me out on that. But then, as with Sarah, He has also patiently waited for me to take Him seriously so we can move forward.