Chuck Shepherd oversees the Web site News of the Weird that reports all the strange, unbelievable stories crossing the newswires. Shepherd's site will leave you scratching your head at the improbable or ludicrous happenings. The site boasts the tagline: "Proof that true stories are weirder than made-up stories."

Often, people put God's words in the same category. Are you kidding me? That sounds preposterous. Can't be true. God offers a new way to live, a new way to see and hope and love; and His kingdom often seems entirely out of touch with the world we know.

When God came to Abraham (old, withered, 99-year-old Abraham) to tell him he would father a son, Abraham couldn't help himself: "He laughed to himself in disbelief." And He chuckled in amazement, saying, "How could I become a father at the age of 100?" (Genesis 17:17).

Abraham's wife Sarah, "long past the age of having children" (a kind way of saying Sarah was older than dirt), had exactly the same response (18:11). She laughed (v.12). The notion was comical.

"Why did the two . . . laugh?" asked Frederick Buechner. "They laughed because they knew only a fool would believe that a woman with one foot in the grave was soon going to have her other foot in the maternity ward." But 9 months later, Isaac arrived. And, appropriately, his name means "laughter." This was a different laughter, an irrepressible laughter of joy and beautiful hope-come-true.

Perhaps this is a good sign that we've heard God correctly, we laugh at the seeming impossibility of it all. God says we are forgiven and loved, that He will make our world right, no reason to fear, and we can hardly believe it. Without God, it is impossible and laughable. , Winn Collier, Our Daily Journey

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