Have you ever said, “Impossible!” about a situation in your life or someone you love? I’m ashamed to admit it, but I said that to God back in 1993. A church in West Virginia had hired my husband, Kevin, to be their pastor. Two conflicts arose as soon as Kevin agreed to accept their offer. We couldn’t sell our house in LA. And our son, 13 at the time, became very depressed about leaving his friends and moving across the country where he didn’t know anyone. I was worried that he might harm himself.
But when I mentioned my worry to Kev, he said it was just a phase, our son would be fine, not to worry. Now I was mad at Kevin because I thought he was putting his career ahead of our son’s safety. And he was offended at me, thinking I was showing more loyalty to our son than to him. There was a huge rift in our marriage—unusual for us, as we generally had a close relationship. I remember telling the Lord one day, “This is impossible! If we move, Kevin will be happy, but our son might commit suicide. If we stay, Kevin will be resentful of me. There is no solution.”
But I was wrong. God had a solution up his sleeve that none of us could have imagined.
When six months went by and we still hadn’t sold the house, Kev and I decided to set aside a chunk of time and pray together (which is what we really should have done to begin with). As we knelt beside the bed, neither one of us started the prayer. We both remained there, on our knees, for half an hour in silence. And while we listened, both of us received the same message from the Holy Spirit: Let it go. We didn’t hear any voices, we just knew: God was directing us to release the dream of moving to West Virginia and trust Him to open a different door of ministry at a different time.
It was very hard for Kevin to call the people at the church and say, “We’re not coming; you’ll have to find someone else as your pastor.” But just a few years later, we received the call to move to Paris, the happiest place we’ve ever lived. Our previous problem wasn’t impossible to solve—we just could not imagine the solution.
Similarly, a few people in the Bible may have said been tempted to say tell God, “This is an impossibility!” Here are a few from the New Testament:
- The servants at the wedding in Cana, when the wine ran out and Jesus told them to fill the huge pots with water. They could have said, “What? How can pots full of water solve this problem? Impossible!”
- Jesus’ disciples who had fished all night and caught nothing, when Jesus told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. They could have said, “Lord, we’ve tossed our net on every side of the boat many times for the last eight hours. How is doing it one more time going to help? Impossible!”
- At Lazarus’ tomb, when Jesus told Martha that Lazarus would rise from the dead. She could have said, “Uh-uh! No one has ever resurrected from the grave after being dead four days. I love you, Lord, but that’s impossible!”
When Jesus says, “Nothing is impossible” – and He said that several times in his short ministry – do we say:
- “It’s too late”
- “The doctors say there is no cure”
- “He or she has been this way all their life”
- “I’m too old”
- “No one has ever done that before!”
Or do we say:
- “I agree with you, Lord—nothing is impossible with you on my side!”
- I appreciate doctors, but you have the final word, Lord!”
- “What shall I do to co-operate with you, Lord?”
- “I don’t know how, but I know WHO. You are Almighty God; you can do anything, and everything.”
- “I believe; help my unbelief.”
- We may have never done it that way before, but let me be the first one!”
Is our God too small? What kind of God do we serve, follow, and love?
- He created it all: Genesis 1:1 and Col. 1:15-17
- He owns it all: Psalm 24:1
- He has all the power: 2 Chron. 20:6
- He wants to help us: Is. 30:18. This verse tells us that God actually rises up from his throne to show favor and pity on his children. Imagine the God of all creation standing up when he hears your voice calling out to him for help!
In all the cases we talked about earlier, God did the impossible. What if the people involved had said, like I did, “Impossible!” God may have still done the miracles, but those individuals would not share the joy of being PART of the miracle. In each case, someone had to cooperate with Jesus’ words to be part of the miracle.
- The servants had to fill up the water jars like Jesus told them to
- The disciples had to put their nets down where Jesus told them to
- The friends of Lazarus had to unwrap his body like Jesus told them to
Are we seeing a pattern here? In every case, the people who participated in the miracle DID what Jesus told them to do! They were no longer spectators, but parts of the miracle.
In Luke 17:5, the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. Of course, Jesus told us we needed only a tiny mustard-seed sized faith. Our faith doesn’t have to be huge for God to use it and do miracles with it, because we have the same Holy Spirit in us that Jesus had, who raised him from the dead. It’s the same Guy, with the same amount of power that was in Jesus! Yet we still find ourselves lacking in faith, needing our faith to grow. How can we increase our faith, so we will begin to believe that God will do the impossible for us?
- Focus on God’s goodness and power—read stories in the Bible about how God rescued those he loves. Meditate on the goodness of God. Memorize verses about his power and love. Sing praises to him and about him.
- Visualize your miracle happening. God gave us our imaginations to use for good—to help others and ourselves. See yourself well and strong and healed. See your wayward child or grandchild happy and free. Whatever it is you need, see it coming true. When we pray for a miracle, it will be more likely to happen if we continually hold a picture of it in our minds.
- Thank God in advance. I’m sure you remember when you were a child, coming to your dad or mom and asked for a new pair of shoes or a trip to the ice cream store. If they said, “Yes,” you may have jumped up and down and said, “Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” Had it happened yet? No. But you knew your parents could be counted on to keep their word, so you thanked them ahead of time. God is even more reliable than a human parent is. If he says, “I will help you. I will rescue you. I will free you of all your fears,” we can be sure he’ll do what he said.
- Refuse to entertain doubt or fear. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” This means we have a choice. If we begin to doubt that God will come through for us, we can speak to our heart and say, “Jesus said not to let you be afraid. Now stop it! Calm down. He will keep his word.”
Is our God too small? NO! Is our God is mighty, full of love and compassion, and willing to give us the miracle we need? YES!
Let’s pray: God, we know in our heads that you are a BIG God, and can do BIG things. But sometimes we have a hard time believing you’ll do big things for us. We need our faith increased. Will you please show us ways to grow our faith, so we can receive the miracles we need and want, not only for ourselves, but also for those around us who need to see your mighty hand at work in their lives? In Jesus’ name, Amen.