About a year ago, prompted by the miraculous healing of a blind man at the prayers of one of our Bishops, I wrote a daily devotional entitled "IMPOSSIBLE."
In it I confessed that "impossible" is a word that far too frequently comes to my mind when I consider the magnitude of the tasks that lie ahead. I began by taking a mental inventory. I said ….
"I look at me. (Bad enough.)
I look at my energy and capacity. (Worse.)
I look at my available resources. (Worse yet!)
And I say to myself, 'There's simply NO WAY that this can be done.' "
My conclusion - then AND now - is that is PRECISELY where the Lord needs us to be in order for Him to be the one who receives the glory. It's ONLY when the situation is thoroughly impossible that God's overcoming strength and grace is the ONLY POSSIBLE answer.
Since some of the situations I'm facing are still impossible, I needed to be reminded of God's awesome power. perhaps you do as well.
So, today's verse is a repeat:
WITH GOD, NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE
It turns out that the Lord who created the universe with a spoken word isn't exactly overcome by situations we consider "impossible." Imagine that !!!
If he needs a sea to split itself in two and have the water stand up and form large walls on either side so His people can pass through on dry land -- no problem. 🙂 This has to be one of my favorite biblical miracles, because it has so much correlation to the situations we face in our lives. Chased by an enemy who is out to obliterate us. Cornered by the inability and limitations of our own efforts. Lives hanging in the balance --- and nowhere to turn but God. My heart races as I think about it !! And with a figurative snap of His fingers God solves the problem. (To be honest, I have no idea if God actually snapped His fingers. The Bible doesn't say that. But He certainly wasn't pacing back and forth in His throne room wondering aloud, "Oh boy, NOW what can I do??")
God handled that "impossible" situation with ease, and hundreds of thousands of people crossed a dry ocean bed in safety. It was easy and safe.
For the army of Egypt that chooses to pursue, not so much. I love it when people argue that at a certain time of year certain parts of certain bodies of water in particular areas in that region have water that is only an inch or two deep. They argue against a miracle by insisting that the people of Israel were wading in shallow water that probably didn't even get their ankles wet. But then they have to explain how every member of the greatest army in the known world drowned in two inches of water --- while mounted on horseback.
In yet another "impossible" situation, the evil king of Israel sent the equivalent of a modern-day platoon to arrest an old man named Elijah, and the odds appeared to be stacked against him. In fact, it looked like 50-to-1 chance that Elijah would be arrested. Something tells me that the fifty soldiers sent to arrest an old man weren't exactly quaking in their boots as they began their mission. BUT they should have been!!! Because it wasn't 50-against-1. Nope, it was 50 AGAINST TWO!! And that extra ONE made all the difference in the universe!
The commander and his men showed up and ordered Elijah to come with them because the king had ordered his arrest. They knew Elijah was a man of God; but that fact didn't concern them one bit. The commander said, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’” Elijah's response basically told the commander that he wasn't taking orders from THAT king, he had a heavenly King to whom he was obedient. What Elijah said when he answered the captain was, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Most of us reading this know what happened next, and even if you're not familiar with the story you can probably guess. Fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.
Quick fried to a crackly crunch. An "impossible" situation handled. In fact, not once, but TWICE !!! When the THIRD commander showed up with the THIRD platoon of fifty men he fell on his knees before the prophet and begged for his life. It seems that Commander #3 realized something we all need to know. When dealing with the God of the universe, it's not a bad idea to start the conversation on your knees.
Time and time again throughout both the Old and New Testaments we see God move miraculously to spare, protect and deliver. He does so when DELIVERANCE is part of His plan. Shipwrecks, storms, stones, furnaces of fire and vats of boiling oil all have no impact on the ones whom God has determined to deliver.
So here's my point. When God chooses NOT to deliver, why do we assume that we know better than He does?
We say things like, "If it were up to me, I'd do such-and-such." But when we compare ourselves to God, we don't end up so good.
WHICH ONE of us has demonstrated unlimited power for millennia?
WHICH one of us has unlimited wisdom?
WHICH one of us spoke and created the universe?
WHICH one of us is all-knowing?
May God give us the grace to TOTALLY TRUST His wisdom and His decisions.
His choices are ALWAYS based upon His unlimited insight and UNENDING LOVE.
WITH GOD, NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE
Both my deliverance and my destruction are in His hands, and HIs timing is perfect.
When I was serving on active duty in the US Marines, I put my life in the hands of commanding officers who had every right to choose when, where and how my life might end in battle. I did it willingly. I did it because I had previously determined that I was prepared to trade my life to protect cause and the people I gave an oath to defend.
Are God's causes worth a LOWER level of sacrifice??
I think not.
May He give me the grace to say with the young men facing the fiery furnace …
KNOW THIS, MY GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER ME.
BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, I WILL NOT BOW.
When walking in faithful service to my King ….
Whether I appear to succeed or appear to fail, If I have been faithful -- I WIN
Whether I appear to be delivered or appear to be destroyed -- I AM THE VICTOR
Whether I appear to live or appear to have lost my life -- I LIVE ON
BECAUSE WITH GOD, NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE