Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Doing the Impossible

You've probably heard this one before:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,"
(Philippians 4:13)
but do you believe it?  Really believe it?

I'm not sure if I do.  Because if I did, nothing would stand in my way.  I would be doing the impossible.*

How about childbirth?   Well, it was extremely painful, and I thought it was going to kill me, but I did that one 3 times.
How about having that tough conversation with your parent or your child?  Hmmm...
How about journeying through sickness or addiction or depression, either your own or a loved one?

Yeah, OK, those things.  Those I can do.  Through Christ.  Those are really hard things, but people do them every day.  What about something that's really impossible?

What about walking on water?

Remember the time Peter walked on water?  You can read about it in Matthew 14.  The interesting part to me is that Peter was fine.  Walking on the water.  Not sinking.  Not even a little bit.  Until he took his eyes off Jesus.

Let me say that again.  Peter didn't start to sink until he stopped looking forward at Jesus and started looking around.

Then Peter got down out of the boat,
walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and,
beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
(Matthew 14: 29-30)

He was doing it.  Something impossible.  But then his fear crowded out his faith and he couldn't anymore.

Fear.  I think fear is the single biggest reason we don't live the abundant life that God wants for us, that God has planned for us.  And it is certainly the reason I'm not out right now doing the impossible.

When I was a kid, I was a little annoying (be honest now, am I still a little annoying?).  I was always the kid who would say, yes I can walk on water.  You can walk on water, too.  Ice is water.  Annoying, right?

So, OK, all of us can do something impossible, walk on water, under certain conditions.  As people of faith, we know that if we stay focused on Jesus, not looking around, not letting fear take hold, and have faith, under those conditions, the impossible is very much possible.

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’
and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
(Matthew 17:20)
*I need to say this, but I'm not sure how or where to fit it in: it's really not us who do the impossible--it just feels like it.  It is God, working through us.  It's not like we can just go out and say, I'm going to do something impossible today, unless God wants us to:
Jesus looked at them intently and said,
“Humanly speaking, it is impossible.
But with God everything is possible.”
Matthew 19:26

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