The God of the Impossible

Duccio Di Buoninsegna's THE RAISING OF LAZARUS (1319)

Duccio Di Buoninsegna's THE RAISING OF LAZARUS (1319)

My wife and I have three little children, and since the oldest is only 3 ½ years old, things can get interesting for our family!  In the midst of our little adventures, we get all kinds of questions like “What is that?”  “What color is it?”  “How did it get there?”  “Can I have one?”  But we don’t mind the questions; they give us chances to teach about all sorts of things—the most important being God.

Recently I was talking to our oldest daughter Jadyn about something we saw outdoors, and we were talking about how God made it along with everything else.  She wanted to know if I could do that, too, and I told her that no, I couldn’t.  So I tried to explain to her that there are a lot of things that I can’t do, but God could do it, because God can do anything.  Her response was profound.  I think she said, “Oh, okay!”

Without knowing it, she reminded me that one of the beautiful things about youthful innocence is the ability to automatically accept such irrational statements about God.  I mean, who really believes that God can do anything—even the impossible?  Do I?  Do you?  We may claim to believe the teaching of Jesus that what is impossible with man is possible with God (Matt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 18:27)*, but what evidence could we produce to validate our belief?  Is there anything about our lives to make our neighbors believe that we have that much faith in God’s power—enough faith to believe that God can do the impossible?

If we believe such things, then our lives are surely going to look pretty irrational to the world around us.  We won’t drool over the same pictures, scheme for the same promotions, practice the same rigid individualism, or chase after things that die and decay like the world does.  We will be different.  Just as day is different than night.

But it isn’t always that easy, is it?  It’s one thing to believe that God can do amazing things like weaving together the universe or creating life in a mother’s womb.  But it’s another thing to believe that God’s people can do lofty things like being holy as God is holy (Lev 11:44-45; 1 Pet 1:15-16), or loving our neighbors as ourselves (Lev. 19:18; Gal 5:14), or making disciples of all the nations (Matt 28:19-20).  Our excuse may be that there’s a difference between what God can do and what we can do.  But do we forget who sets those lofty goals for us?  It’s God.  This is all part of God’s plan and mission.  And if He tells us to go and do it, then we must believe that we can.

After all, we don’t do it alone.  And in some ways we don’t do it at all, because it is the power of God working through us (2 Cor 4:7; 12:9).  As weak as we may be, He is still the God of the impossible.


*If you don’t have access to a Bible and want to see what the verses referenced in this post say, you can access them in a variety of translations and languages at www.biblegateway.com.

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About PatrickBarber

Preaching Minister East Point Church of Christ Wichita, Kansas
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