Traffic conspires against you and makes you late for work the day of your big meeting.
Your kids are unyieldingly defiant, no matter what tactic you try.
Your car is stolen in broad daylight.
No medical explanation exists for the infertility waging war on your desire for children.
You don’t get the job, even though you were qualified.
Your spouse makes no effort to have a healthy relationship with you.
A global pandemic affects your ability to get basic necessities at the store, takes away your source of income, steals the joy out of planning your wedding, forces you to deny yourself all physical and social interaction.
We’ve all been there.
Every single day, unfortunate things happen to us, through no fault of our own, and we don’t know why. Even more unsettling is the reality that we may never know why. After awhile of being continually disappointed, we start to feel suffocated and disillusioned by our own expectations, and we may even start to wonder why we ever thought things might go our way. In those moments of doubtful wondering, if we aren’t careful, we take the first step down a very steep, sloping hill toward a valley of bitterness.
Why, God?? Why me?
How could you let this happen?
Don’t you see my suffering?
Don’t you hear my cries for help?
Are you ignoring me?
Do you even love me?
Does this sound like you? If so, I have two things to say.
#1. First, God is not scared of your big, hard, scary questions. You can’t intimidate, overwhelm, annoy, or stump him with your Whys and your What Ifs and even your Where Are You Right Nows. …………BUT. Even in your most hurt, angry, lonely places, He is still the God of the universe with ultimate power and authority over everything in existence. And if you are a Christian, you are still expected to exercise control over your tongue. Yes, even when you’re mad. There is a difference between coming to the Lord in brokenness and asking Him to heal and restore your bleeding heart, and coming to the Lord in malice, hurling insults and blaming Him for things that go wrong.
#2. I can’t speak for you, but when I start to spiral into an angry valley, it always boils down to the same thing: I don’t trust God. I don’t trust that He’s good; that He’s still on His throne; that He’s controlling every moment of my existence; that His way is better than mine. I stop believing that He genuinely loves me. I stop believing that He can do impossible things.
To tell you the truth, I think we’re all scared to believe in the impossible because we’re too prideful. We just can’t stomach the idea of being caught off guard, of looking foolish, of praying in expectation for something that doesn’t end up happening. We don’t want to get our hopes up. We’d rather protect ourselves in safe, comfortable layers of realism and acceptance of what we can make sense of in our own minds.
But therein lies the question. Since when are our minds the pinnacle of knowledge and wisdom?? Are we really so naive that we would spend our entire lives only believing what we can see and feel?
Take a walk with me, faith family. Let me take you a few thousand years back and remind you of a few impossible things you already believe.
I’m not talking about believing in things that are simply improbable.
I mean things that are literally not possible.
An obedient man built what was probably the largest boat that’s ever existed in human history without having any idea of what a flood was. And that flood ended up covering the entire earth.
A husband and wife who were 100 years old and 90 years old, respectively, conceived their first baby.
An exceedingly deep body of water, as deep as about five Empire State buildings stacked on top of each other, parted in half for people to walk across on bone-dry ground.
A man was swallowed by a whale and lived.
During one of Israel’s battles with the Amorites, the sun and moon stood still in the sky without moving for almost an entire day.
A man prayed for a drought, and no rain fell for more than three years.
The same man completely drenched an altar, wood and all, with gallons upon gallons of water, prayed again, and fire instantly consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the water, and even the stones.
A woman’s flour and oil continually refilled themselves in the midst of a famine.
A man spent an entire night in a pit of starving lions and survived.
Three men were thrown into a furnace so hot, it killed the men throwing them in, and they came out without a single burn or scorch mark.
An army of 300 men defeated an army of over 135,000.
A virgin conceived and gave birth to a baby.
People who had been blind, deaf, or crippled their entire life could inexplicably see, hear, and walk.
A couple loaves of bread and a few fish fed tens of thousands of people – twice.
A man’s ear was cut off and then immediately put back on, fully healed.
People who were really truly 100% dead took their second first breath and came back to life.
Can I tell you something? It’s okay to believe in impossible things. It’s okay to get your hopes up. It’s okay to know that the odds are stacked against you and still choose to trust that even if you don’t get the happy ending you’re asking for, God is able and He loves you. Our God is unstoppable. What He shuts, no one can open, and what He opens, no one can shut.
Just for today, will you let these incredible, historical, real events give you hope for the impossible things in your life?