...between possible and probable.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
The first order of the day is to offer you an apology. In last week’s post (Calling you out!) I feel like I came out swinging. The tone that I used was a bit harsh, and hopefully you’ve frequented this site enough to know that harshness isn’t quite my style.
What I had to say was, quite honestly, born out of frustration…
Notice that Jesus didn’t say a “few things”, or “several things”, or “many things”. Jesus didn’t put any limitations on his Father or His abilities. Imagine him looking at you in the eyes and without the slightest notion of doubt, saying “Look, our Father can do anything! Anything! Don’t you get it? There’s nothing that he can’t do. Nothing.”
Why do we have such a hard time wrapping our minds around what Jesus told us? Why can we so easily accept his teachings on life, love, giving, forgiveness, and salvation, yet not accept the fact that his Father, who is our Father, can do all things?
Before I continue, and as I’ve done so many times before, I’m going to remind you that any “verbal darts” you feel that are being thrown at you are those that I’ve plucked from my own flesh at some point along the path of life. What I share isn’t meant to call you out or down in any way, but simply to tell you what changing my perspective on God did for me.
Here’s the thing in a nutshell. In the last couple of years I’ve had conversations with so many God-loving, Spirit-filled, walking-with-Jesus-everyday people whose faith knows no bounds in every aspect other than the fact that all things are possible with God.
Quite often, it’s that very barrier to God’s greatness that prevents us from having the relationship with Him that we can, and perhaps of more importance, that keeps us from being bold enough to ask for the seemingly impossible.
Look, I’m asking you to believe in a BIG GOD, who is capable of big things. What I’m asking requires a leap of faith, because our very complex yet very simple minds have a hard time fathoming the reality that nothing is too big for Him.
That being said, how can we possibly approach God with our petitions with the mindset that He can’t answer them anyway? It’s as if we’re saying, “Okay God. I’m giving this to You because I have no other place to turn. I’ve done everything that I can. Please take this illness (or relationship, or financial situation, or whatever it is that you’re facing) and see what You can do with it.”
Okay, the first thing that you should do in every situation is give it to God before you do anything else! Ask God for His healing before you go to the doctor, or for His words before you try to mend that relationship, or for His provision before you face financial ruin. If not, you’ll quite often find that some of Satan’s favorite weapons, such as doubt, fear, frustration, and anger are standing in line in front of you, and the simple act of staying focused on Him will be a challenge.
Secondly, as you give these things to God, recall Jesus’ promise to us in the Book of Matthew:
“Because you are not yet taking God seriously”, said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” Matthew 17:20-21 The Message
I’ll go ahead and ask you to bear with me on this for a moment. I’m threshing this one out as I write, not only because of the challenge that I face in explaining it, but because of an excerpt from a comment that I received concerning last week’s post from my long time friend Peggy.
I have been having some problems lately and have given them to God. One of them is for the healing of my body from cancer. I thoroughly believe God has healed me but my oncology reports do not support this. However, with the problems I have had lately I cannot believe there is any way I could feel as good as I do unless healing is going on.
Peggy’s unwavering faith in God during her courageous battle against cancer is a perfect example of what I’m trying to get across to you today. Quite obviously, Peggy has turned to physicians to help rid her body of this deadly disease. It’s also apparent that she believes that God is the ultimate healer, and knows that her complete and possible recovery is not in the hands of her doctors, but in the hands of God.
Refusing to believe what she’s read in the oncology reports, and against all odds, Peggy is looking to God for the seemingly impossible.
This is where it gets tough.
Does Peggy’s firm belief that with God all things are possible mean that it’s also probable? Does it mean that God is, without a doubt, going to heal Peggy because she believes that He can?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
What Peggy’s faith does do is relieve her mental burden to some degree, to give her hope for tomorrow, and above all else, give God the opportunity to heal His child. But it doesn’t guarantee that He’ll do it.
If it were as easy as that, our faith in God would be something akin to a bubble gum machine. You drop a prayer in the slot, and receive the solution. It wouldn’t say much for the need for faith, would it? And it would say even less for the need for God.
I don’t know why.
I don’t know why sickness, and death, and financial troubles, and broken hearts are in God’s plans for us. I don’t know why desperation has to be a part of it, why we have to reach the bottom before we begin our climb to the top.
I don’t know why God had me wandering through my own personal wilderness for so many years. Perhaps it was His way of showing me that it’s never too late, that there’s always hope, that something as seemingly impossible as changing the very essence of a fifty-four year old man set in his ways posed no challenge for Him at all. Perhaps He knew that I would share the news of it with you.
My wish for you, my hope for you, and my prayer for you is that you’ll come to realize that nothing is too big for God. Nothing. Not even that.
“…with God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26