I admit there are times when I give up. I’m not proud of this or saying you should follow suit, just being truthful.
I give up on things that seem impossible. Because, well – THEY SEEM IMPOSSIBLE!
I give up on things like the homeless having a home, broken marriages getting back together, rehabilitation of convicts. Mid-November I give up on the sun ever shining again and that peace and calm can ever be the general tone of now until Christmas. I give up on my boys ever realizing that video games are not the greatest thing in the world, I give up on North America in general as we buy and buy and buy while people die from lack of clean water and I give up on the very fact that God is as mighty as He says He is, as evidenced by the fact that I give up on things.
In our family devotions the other night we were asked a simple question after the scripture reading and it went something like this, “What impossible thing are you longing for?”
It wasn’t until sitting under this question for awhile that I realized that I didn’t have a sense of longing for the impossible because, quite simply, I give up on the impossible. It wasn’t until muddling this around in my mind that I realized that I like possibles. I like things that I can make happen. I like action and involvement and changing the outcomes of the day. I like tangibles and accomplishment and checking things off of lists.
The problem with all of that? I don’t have to lean into God for the possible. I don’t have to plead and pray for things that I can accomplish on my own strength. I don’t have to cry out and persist and endure when I can simply check it off the list on my own. I don’t have to offer things into Jesus hands when I can simply take charge and control.
So it’s easier to just give up on the things I can’t do on my own. It’s easier to chalk those things up to never-gonna-happens and move on to things that actually might. Things that show results. Things that make me feel like I’ve been productive and my time has been well spent.
The other problem with all of that? The entirety of scripture! Time and time again we see God do the impossible. Over and over we see Him do things that we can never ever do! (Like, ever) We see him topple city walls and part seas, we see him demolish armies and protect His people through incredible situations. We see him heal the leper and make the blind see and turn the tax collectors to Himself. We see Him use simple fisherman to accomplish His purposes and we see Him use the very words of His mouth to create all things.
Bottom line? He is a God of the impossible.
I’ve even seen it. I’ve seen Him reveal things through dreams and I’ve seen Him provide when there was nothing and I’ve seen Him restore marriages that seemed unfixable. I’ve seen Him heal and I’ve seen Him use the weak and I’ve seen Him bring the most unlikely to Himself. (hello, me!)
I’ve seen these things with my own eyes. Like, actually seen them. We are literally that family that had anonymous grocery gift cards arrive in the mail in a season where we just didn’t know how the budget was going to allow for food. We are that family that has had exactly the amount of money gifted to us on the same day that we were given a repair bill for our truck and my husband was still seeking work. We have watched marriages that were so far gone come back together. We have watched as couples have laid their sin on the table and sought repentance and forgiveness before God and have come back together to live as one.
We’ve seen it! With our eyes!
And yet, like the Israelites wandering in the desert, I give up. Like they forgot that God had just parted the freaking sea for them to walk across and they grumble about how they’re going to eat, I forget the things I’ve seen Him do in our lives and the lives of people around us and I think, “Impossible!”
I’m so quick to forget. I’m so quick to give up. I’m so quick to assume that there is no hope.
The question in our devotion time snapped me back to see this in myself and it made me sad. Because if I’m not longing for the impossible then it means that I’m not praying for it. And if I’m not praying for it, it means I’m not modeling for my children that we believe in a God of impossibilities. I’m teaching my very lack of faith to my kids by not longing for that which is so beyond our very own fingertips.
This advent season we’ve decided to change that. We’ve decided that God, in His mercy, has shown us just how little faith we have and we have decided that we want more. We are going to ask Him for more and we’re going to start longing for the impossible.
And so? We’re praying for it. We’re praying for orphaned babies to all have homes and for those who have nothing to eat to have bread for today. We’re praying for marriages that are so far apart to be reconciled. We’re praying for homes for the homeless and rest for the weary and extravagant love to be shown to the unloveable. We’re praying for healing for the sick and we’re praying that those who are so far from Him would see His glorious face and kneel before Him.
This advent we’re focusing on a God of miracles. A God of hope. A God who can do all that which seems so impossible. And we’ve decided that we’re not giving up. He’s proved Himself faithful time and time again and we know that He will continue to do so!
We’re invigorated. We’re passionate. Know what else? Our prayers have reflected it. They are more earnest and more necessary than ever because we want things that we can’t do on our own. We are relying on His strength and mercy and nothing of our own to accomplish things we never can.
What impossible thing are you longing for? Don’t give up. Keep longing and know that with Christ the impossible becomes possible and there is hope for all.
May the God of hope show you the impossible this advent, the impossible in a virgin being with child, the impossible of God come in the form of a babe, the impossible of angels appearing to man, the impossible of the escape of slaughter for the Christ babe, the impossible of a perfect lamb being slain for us, the impossible of the resurrection and the impossible of us, weary sojourners, sinners who deserve nothing, being shown grace.
We serve a God of the impossible made possible. As such, let’s remember that there is hope and stop giving up. Let’s continue to ask him for the impossible and marvel at His work.