There are a lot of lessons to learn from the life of Sarah. Today, I'm going to look at the fact that Sarah was one hot mama!
The Bible makes it clear that Sarah was incredibly beautiful. She was so beautiful, in fact, that old Abe asks her not once, but twice to say she is his sister so the king of the land they were passing through wouldn't kill him in order to have her.
I guess Helen of Troy had nothing on Sarah. The first time this happens, Abraham and Sarah, along with their entourage, had gone down to Egypt due to a famine. Abraham had an idea that the Pharaoh would want Sarah for himself, thus decreasing Abram's life expectancy - at least in Abe's mind anyway.
A little side note: The truth was, Sarah WAS Abram's sister - his half sister, that is. They had the same father and different mothers. I know this is rather icky to us - incest and all that - but back in the day, this was not unheard of or really frowned upon. It wasn't until Moses' time that God forbade the whole way too straight family tree.
The next time, was much later in Abram and Sarah's life. In fact, Sarah was in her 90's at that time. So, either love really does make someone appear more beautiful or Sarah had some killer genes. The thing was, King Abimelech DID take Sarah for his wife.
In both cases, God had to step in and protect Sarah since Abraham, sadly, was not doing the job. In the first case, God struck Pharaoh and his household with great plagues. Pharaoh was understandably upset since he had no idea Sarah was anybody's wife but his! He gave Sarah back to Abraham and escorted them out of his land. I don't think they got an invitation to stop by the next time they were in town either!
The second time around, God visited Abimelech in a dream and basically told him he was a dead man if he didn't return Sarah to Abraham. Needless to say, Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham post haste.
So many times, we see women who are beautiful, thin or fill in the blank. They seem to have it all together in some way that we do not, and we imagine their lives are just perfect and overflowing with happiness.
Things like Facebook, blogs and Pinterest play into this idea that somehow, someway everyone else has it all together but us. Every woman out there seems to make homemade meals from scratch after harvesting their organic vegetables from their raised bed garden out back where their free range hens are scratching around. All this is in between homeschooling their children who have retained the innocence of childhood (captured in wonderful, candid photos featuring sunny meadows, adorable overalls on equally adorably mussed children)and recording these moments in a literary award-worthy blog.
Oh yes, while the children are romping in the sunny meadow absorbing their education through fun, one-with-nature type projects, the mom (who happens to also be thin, fashionable without being too fussy and radiantly wholesome) is handcrafting a wreath while simultaneously re-purposing an old wardrobe into a very chic piece of furniture with yarn, a power drill and the kids' finger paints.
I don't know about you, but my life doesn't look like that. On any given day, I am fortunate to have dinner on the table and clean clothes for my kids. It's an added bonus if I get the floor mopped and bathroom cleaned that week. My idea of decorating is setting a couple pumpkins on the porch. I usually forget about them until I discover that the entire bottom has rotted out.
As women, we tend to compare ourselves with other people - at least I do at times. We compare our marriages, our children, our homes and our physiques. The problem is often what we are seeing are the best moments of someone else's life, not every moment. We don't see them with bed head or when their children are threatening each other with bodily harm or they are sniping at their husband for not feeding those stupid chickens.
Yes, Sarah was incredibly beautiful, but she carried the heartache of being barren in a culture where the ability to have children equaled a woman's worth. I bet she would have traded a plainer face or dumpier figure for a houseful of kids any day.
She left a thriving metropolis to be dragged around in a caravan with no real destination in sight. She could have coined the phrase "living out of a suitcase" (or perhaps a animal skin bag would be more accurate). She suffered the humiliation of being passed off as her husband's sister and given to two different men. It's unclear if Pharaoh had relations with her, but it said that God stopped Abimelech before he "knew" (in the Biblical sense) Sarah, but still the fear and uncertainty she must have felt during these times are hard to imagine.
Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall of the ride back to their camp after Sarah had gotten out of another guy's harem? I mean, what would Abraham have to say for himself anyway?
While Sarah's outward appearance was breathtaking, it certainly didn't guarantee her an easy life.
As women, we long for close friendships, but sometimes, I think the comparison game keeps us from experiencing that. We get so busy feeling inferior and trying to impress others that we miss the real wounds and sorrows of those around us or worse, we never get real with each other because we put on a show.
So, this week, call that woman who you think has it all together. Invite her out to lunch and really listen to what she has to say. You might be surprised that she thought YOU had it all together.
~ Blessings, Bronte