In Genesis 18:14 God has just informed a 90 year old woman, Sarah, that in a year’s time she’ll give birth to a son. Naturally, she thinks He’s crazy, so He poses the question, “Is anything impossible for the Lord?” (HCSB) This is a question that we’ll periodically consider over the coming year.
I find it fascinating that God answers this question, thousands of years later, when talking to another woman He’s just made pregnant. In Luke 1:37 the angel Gabriel has just told the incredulous Mary that she will bear God’s Messiah, and that her elderly relative, Elizabeth, is miraculously pregnant also. Then Gabriel concludes, “For nothing is impossible with God.” (NIV)
Q. “Sarah, is anything impossible for the Lord?” ……………………………………. A. “Mary, nothing is impossible with God.”
Whenever I teach on passages like these I experience an urge to provide fine print for God. I feel that I need to explain that the examples of Sarah, Mary, & Elizabeth do not mean that God will provide a child to every Christian who seeks to be a parent. They don’t mean that every Christian will find a spouse, or that we’ll never suffer from significant illness or disease. So why have they been preserved for us?
I am convinced that these passages exist to demonstrate what God CAN do, not to promise what He WILL do. We could spend a whole lot of words trying to explain the WHY’s of infertility, singleness, illness, pain and suffering. But the chances are that when we got to the end of those words the struggle would still be there.
We will discuss these struggles at some point, but God doesn’t intend these passages to rub salt in our wounds, rather, He wants to inspire faith. In my experience it’s easy to lose sight of God’s possibilities while caught up in experiences and questions we don’t have answers for. As we seek answers to our WHY’s, God wants us to keep believing that He CAN. Nothing is impossible with God.
- What thoughts come to your mind when you hear God ask, “Is anything to hard for the Lord?”
- Have you ever found yourself in a situation where passages of Scripture that are intended to inspire simply made you feel worse? Have you been able to resolve that conflict?
- Do the examples of these women make you think of something else? Please share it.