Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Impossible

For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37
When I think of the word “impossible” several things come to mind.  First, I can’t help but think of all the scientific or technological “puzzles” that have been solved through the years such as: putting a person on the moon, mankind flying, almost immediate communication to any place in the world, or seeing certain diseases cured or eradicated.  Second, I also realize my inability as a human to overcome certain things and I don’t see it happening, at least within my own abilities.  For example, it is impossible for me to wave my arms and take off like an airplane or helicopter.  It is also impossible for me to jump in the ocean in California and swim to Hawaii.  I might have a lot of desire and good intentions, but it is definitely not happening.

In our text today (Luke 1), we find a story that deals with the “impossible”. It involves cousins, Elizabeth, the wife of the priest, Zechariah, and Mary, the mother of Jesus.  They were both spiritually sensitive and mature.  Elizabeth and Zechariah were described in their spiritual character as “righteous before God and blameless in all the commandments”.  And when it came to Mary, she was special too since she was greeted by the angel Gabriel as “favored by God”.  They were related both physically and spiritually. 

But they also were blessed to share the experience of the “impossible” in this story.  I would think that most of us prefer life to be normal, predictable, and comfortable so we don’t have to deal with the experience of the “impossible”, right?  But when we get to experience the “impossible” we have the opportunity of moving from hopeless to hopeful; moving past fear to faith and seeing God work through the power of His Spirit in our lives and others.

In our story it seemed impossible for Elizabeth, who was labeled “barren”, to have a child as she and her husband were along in years.  Although they were faithful to God and served as religious leaders in their community, she was looked down upon with disappointment by the people.  And through a totally different reason but yet related to a child, Mary, a young woman, was also dealing with the impossible.  It was not because she was barren but because she was a virgin.  It was impossible for a virgin to have a child. 

But then there is God.  He always has a plan and chooses so often to do the “possible” in the midst of the “impossible”.  The story says within a matter of months life would change for both Elizabeth and Mary.  First of all, Zechariah was spoken to by an angel while serving as a priest in the temple.  It was revealed to him that he and Elizabeth would have a boy named John to “make ready for the Lord a people prepared”. (v.17) And they did and he did.

Next, the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary and she was troubled at what he told her.  She was favored by God and would have a son named Jesus who would be called Son of the Most High.  This was a lot of responsibility for anyone let alone a young girl who was a virgin and not even married.  Yet the angel revealed that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and that her cousin, Elizabeth, would also be having a child soon.  The angel concluded with a timeless reminder and summary of faith: “For nothing will be impossible with God.

As we consider our lives and the “impossibilities” we face every day, may we be reminded of the truth from Scripture “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” (Matthew 19:26).  No matter what challenges we are facing in our lives we can trust God.  As believers we should know He has worked in our lives and others before and He will do so again.  There is nothing “too impossible” for Him.  

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior here at Christmas, may we remember that He has always turned the “impossible” into the “possible”.  He used a baby to change the world that we still see clearly the evidences of in our lives and in our world whether it is acknowledged or not.  Surely we as His followers can give Him the praise He rightly deserves?

Question: What are the seemingly “impossible” situations that you are facing in your life right now? (Marriage, health, job uncertainty, family/friend relationship struggles, world crisis of war/peace or financial challenge, or hope in the middle of a fearful, terroristic environment)

Question: How have you seen God work in the past?
(Share your story with someone and see how they are encouraged and you are reminded of God’s goodness to you)

May we demonstrate the faith and hope for the “possible” that Mary showed when she said to the angel: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
(Luke 1:38)

(Submitted By Jim Garner)

Devotional Archive