July 27, 2017

God of the Impossible

What are you facing right now that seems impossible?

Maybe a health problem like cancer or infertility. Maybe an estranged loved one. Maybe a financial hurdle that seems insurmountable. Maybe a dream that seems to be dying a slow, painful death.

We all have something, right? Some situation that looks impossible on paper. Something that feels hopeless or unredeemable.

Abraham and Sarah must have felt like that. God had promised a child who would become “many nations,” and yet He hadn’t delivered. So they took matters in their own hands, and Abraham committed adultery with Hagar at the insistence of his wife. And they got a son — but they also got more than that, as it brought a new element of strife into their camp, driving their family apart and causing untold grief for Hagar and her son.

But that wasn’t how God planned to send the promised son.

He had something better in mind. He planned to give Abraham and Sarah their own biological baby, something that seemed utterly impossible to a couple in their nineties.

And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”

It was impossible according to the normal laws of biology. Even today, with all our modern medicine, doctors wouldn’t be able to do anything to help a 90-year-old women get pregnant!

But God.

God is in the business of doing what seems impossible.

The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.*

Sarah wasn’t the only one who learned firsthand that God can do anything.

Think of Daniel being rescued from the lion’s den. Think of Israel conquering Jericho just by marching around its walls seven times. Think of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Think of Peter walking on water, denying the laws of nature. Think of the disciples gathering up 12 baskets of leftovers, after feeding 5000 men with just 5 loaves and 2 fishes.

Think of a young virgin who gave birth to the God-Man, who would live to be the perfect Sacrifice for our sin. Think of our eternal Redeemer, who died for us while we were yet His enemies.

He is the God of the impossible.

He won’t do anything contrary to His nature, but He can do anything contrary to our nature.

Whatever you’re facing today, or this week, or this year — remember that. Hold that truth close to your heart. Choose to savor the magnificence of its truth, instead of worrying about its incomprehensibility.

Is anything too hard for the Lord? Gen 18:14

* Read the rest of the story in Genesis 17:1-2718:1-15, 21:1-8.

 


Comments

  1. So needed this today, Elizabeth! I’m facing a health problem that seems like it will never go away and I’m on the fence about medication. But God knows and this is His body. I’m to continue seeking Him. Thanks for the reminder that with Him I can face this pain and uncertainty 🙂