July 7, 2020
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV 1984).
I love my patients’ answering machines. Bill comes to see me for his platelets, which are doing fine. When he comes, he stays overnight at the gambling casinos, enjoying the rush of gambling and the puffs on his cigarettes. Knowing this about him, I had a picture in my mind of his spiritual status. Bill missed his recent appointment, so I called him. I was greeted by his answering machine that informed me, “Sorry I’m not home. Please leave a message. And remember, ‘Jesus wants you committed to Him. When you are, you can do all things.’”
Can we do all things with Jesus?
Many passages in the New Testament discuss God and the impossible. Let’s mention three.
At the beginning of Jesus’ life, when Mary explains the unreasonableness of her pregnancy, having slept with no man, the angel who has brought the message declares, “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37, NIV 1984).
As Jesus is making His way on His final visit to Jerusalem, a rich man turns away because he cannot let go of his wealth. When Jesus describes how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, his disciples cry out, “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26, NIV 1984). Jesus replies, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27, NIV 1984).
Near the end of His life, as Jesus weeps in the garden of Gethsemane, he cries out, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36, NIV 1984).
Jesus and the impossible.
The birth, the incarnation that led to our atonement—impossible with humans. But God does the impossible, and His world will be redeemed.
Our very ability to be saved by His atonement—impossible with humans. But God does the impossible, transforming us through His Spirit, as we reach out in surrender.
And then, as followers of Christ in a broken world, we sometimes face moments that seem impossible to bear. And we cry out for God to do the impossible for us, now. And God will then choose for us: the escape or the cross, both choices based on a love for us so great that He refused to do the impossible at Gethsemane. He refused the impossible escape for His Son so that He might shatter death for us with the impossible resurrection.
The impossible—at the beginning of God’s Big Story with Mary, at the beginning of our own walk with Christ, and as we move through our crises within God’s Big Story—all things are possible with God.
Let me trust you with the impossible.