God of the Impossible
I was flat out on the concrete floor. Well into our third year overseas on the mission field. Twenty years of marriage shattered with a cutting laser light of truth. Deep, dark hidden things brought out into the sunshine of my oblivious reality. I was in utter despair. Uncontrollable wailing as I’ve never done before, all I could cry out was, “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.” Profound grief. My marriage in shambles. My heart crushed. My mission destroyed.
What now, Lord? What do I do?
“Therefore, straighten your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed,” Hebrews 12:12-13 (NET). This was His call for me to renew my resolve, give me fresh strength in struggle, and stay on God’s path. He was directing me back to the US with my children. Alone. Single. Even though I was scared, lonely, ashamed to face my supporters, organization, and church. Coming back to an empty house, no car, no job, little money, etc. I knew I was in His Hands. The God of the Impossible.
This is in the heart of God, the impossible. It’s His specialty. I believe He really loves doing the impossible: the unimaginable, unattainable, insurmountable, inaccessible, impractical, preposterous. Those hundred-to-one, beyond belief, boundary-breaking miracles. And He uses us to do it!
Let me give you some examples:
Nehemiah and his broken walls.
Abraham and his old lady.
Joseph and his deep pit and unjust imprisonment.
Elijah and his ravens’ refreshment in the midst of discouragement.
Joshua and his trumpet march.
David and his giant.
Gideon and his smashing jars.
Unwed Mary and her baby bump.
The disciples and their fish and bread luncheon for thousands.
There’s a pattern I see in Scripture. It mirrors my own experience as well. When God calls us to the impossible there may be: weeping, mourning; fasting, and praying; and then, a call to leave our comfort zone.
I certainly did my share of weeping. There were days when there was a perpetual lump in my throat, and I physically could not swallow food. God encouraged me to strengthen my hands and straighten the path in front me. He called me back to a country that felt so distant, both in geography and in my soul. Then came the required risk to do the impossible.
Nehemiah, the cup-bearer, had to approach the king with a request. Abraham had to be willing to sacrifice his promised son. Joseph, Elijah, Joshua, David, and Gideon faced certain death in odds against their favor. I feel like I was much like Mary, risking embarrassment, rejection, judgement, and poverty.
The risk could be status, resources, access, connections, knowledge, money, your very life. The impossible will cost us personally. Jesus modeled that sacrifice. Sacrifice means giving up what you want for something you want more.
Once we say, “Yes, Lord. Send me. I’ll go to the impossible believing you are there with me.” Attacks usually come. Resistance. Nehemiah faced Sanballat and Tobiah’s threats and anger. Elijah faced a famine. David faced ridicule from his brother. Gideon and the disciples battled their own self-doubts and fears. Mary nearly lost her marriage proposal.
In these battles toward the impossible, our unity is most needed. Part of Jesus’s prayer in John 17 was, “Now protect them by the power of Your name so that they will be united just as We are. . . I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You gave me, so they may be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me.”
This spiritual unity empowers us with a steady drive, a determination to finish the impossible God has called us to do. Because we know, people are worth it. The sacrifice is worth it. The reward at the end of the impossible is worth it.
I’m thankful I took that risky step of returning home.
I’ll share what awaited me as I traversed the impossible in my next blog.
His Excellent Grace sustains and compels me onward.