Dr. Who had an impossible girl, but do you have an impossible situation in your life? A loved one so far from God, so deceived or entrenched in sin that you cannot possibly imagine them coming to faith in Jesus–a situation so far beyond anything you could ever hope to fix that you are tempted to despair? Good! Because God is God of the impossible!
“I assure you that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Go from here to there,’ and it will go. There will be nothing that you can’t do.” (Matthew 17:20b CEB)
I don’t know about you, but I never really comprehended the full extent of God’s love for me. Sure, I knew the Bible says He loves me enough for Christ to have died for me, but it never sank in–it never quite hit home, because while I understood God so loved “the world,” I kind of subliminally felt that maybe He loves the rest of that world a bit more than me, because, after all–who am I? I’m not really that important.
And sure, in the grand scheme of things I’m probably not really that significant, but that’s missing the whole point of God’s greatness–of the full extent of His capacity to love! God is so great that His ability to love me or you isn’t impacted by His loving others–the amount of His love available isn’t finite like ours. Human beings may want to love everyone, but if we spend our energy or time or money helping one person, there’s just less of it left over for someone else. God isn’t like that–He can love me totally, fully, and to the exact degree of my need and beyond–and yet, simultaneously be able to love every other human being with just as overwhelming a love! Isn’t that amazing?! Absolutely!! But why is this so important?
It is important because it means God isn’t lying when He says He loves you. And that love isn’t a communal residual kind of love–that because He loves everyone and I’m obviously part of everyone some of it also dribbles down to me. No; He actively, fully and completely loves ME! He’s relating to me specifically!! Two verses are significant here.
If you’re not a Christian–if you don’t quite trust Him yet, know that:
“…[God] doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change [their hearts and minds, and ultimately how they live].” (2 Peter 3:8-9 MSG)
God sincerely–from the bottom of His heart–does not want any human being separated from Him for eternity; it was never His plan for us, and He’s reaching out to you and giving you the time and space to see you can trust Him completely!
And if you already follow Him, “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 CEB)
Either way, it all dovetails into a heavy-duty seriously real and personal, incredible love: if you don’t really know Him yet, He’s doing everything to love you over to Himself; if you do, He’s weaving together the diverse–and sometimes seemingly downright discouraging–facets of your life with the greatest of love for your greatest good–for the best possible outcome for you.
To put it another way–don’t quite know Him yet? His goal is for you to know Him. Already know Him? His goal is for you to know Him much more fully and completely! But what does God’s incredibly powerful love for us have to do with the impossible situations in our lives? With the really bad things so messed up you can’t figure out how to possibly fix them–the ones you can’t ever truthfully see being set right?
What the incredible love God has for us has to do with the genuinely impossible situations in our life is that these aren’t an accident. You may be a victim—perhaps the misery in your life may not have been your fault at all. Or perhaps you think it’s your fault, that your life went wrong and you somehow caused it (and maybe you did contribute in some intentional or unintentional way), but believe me, whatever it is–whether you had anything to do with it or not—God not only saw it coming, He allowed it to happen to show you exactly what He’s capable of; to give you faith–or a much stronger faith–in Him! He placed it in your life to show Himself strong on your behalf, and to reveal more of Himself to you! Because–“This is eternal life: to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You sent.” (John 17:3 CEB)
You see, we have a hard time believing ordinary blessings are from God–when, for example, we get up every morning and go to work, we don’t see God’s hand very clearly in our paycheck. But when it’s painfully obvious the situation is dire and we can do nothing to change it–that’s when we are driven to greater intimacy with Him in prayer.
No, He won’t give everything, just as a loving parent won’t indulge their child’s every whim–and sometimes He says no and we can’t understand why it has to be so, and we have to content ourselves knowing that just as the little child doesn’t always understand why the parent says no, so there are times we just have to trust in our Father’s great and amazing love for us–and that it is good, because He is good.
Yet so many other times–if it’s important enough to us to keep asking persistently and with importunity–He gives–because He planned it all along and merely He wanted us to learn to pray fervently, believe He’ll give, strengthen our faith in Him, and experience the genuine magnitude of His love for us!
Some years ago, an older mentor’s husband came to faith in Christ. It really was a miracle; it hadn’t seemed he ever would, and it had taken a lifetime. I was so happy for her because I identified with her and was hopeful for my own husband. Yet, as the years passed and rather than coming to faith in Jesus my own husband seemed even more hardened against Him, I began to believe nothing would ever change–that we would go to our graves like this. Then God’s love surprised and overwhelmed me!
My husband, the man I thought would never come to faith, accepted Jesus after thirty-one years–God did a work in his heart! Granted, he’s still my husband, but something is different. And its not perfect–there are years of resistance and bad habits, like the grave clothes dead Lazarus was wrapped in, that Jesus will be working on peeling off of His no longer dead spirit, and He, like all new Christians, needs to understand that unless he gets into the Word, he won’t grow in his new faith and in the knowledge of his Savior. But the new birth, tiny though it be, has definitely occurred; he is a new creation in Christ! God most certainly is God of impossible situations!
What do I want you to walk away with? Simply that God loves someone else and allowed them something amazing? As wonderful as that is–no. What I want to leave you with is the conviction that whatever impossible situation it is you are going through–whether a lack of faith or obstinance against God or whatever–He loves you too! He can and will work all things together for good for you if you love Him. “I am the LORD, the God of all living things! Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 CEB) And if you haven’t ever trusted Him–He’s calling you; will you respond? Won’t you come to Him, and be overwhelmed by His great love for you?
Dear Lord God,
Please show Yourself strong and do what “cannot” be done; please do the impossible in my life and make things right! Amen.