Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Advent and your own version of impossible

I’d had another post planned for today, but yesterday, I received a distressing report about a friend’s dire health situation.

As I pondered the news, verses from earlier morning readings drifted into my mind.

The verses for this day in my guide for the first week of Advent came from Luke 1.

Under the heading, “A childless couple conceives,” they detailed how God spoke to the elderly Zachariah through an angel about his wife, Elizabeth, also advanced in years, and how she’d bear a son who’d be called John.

The next section tells how a virgin, Mary, conceives. The angel who spoke to Mary said, “And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God” (Luke1:36-38 The Message).

The obvious connection between these passages and the next reading from Psalm 138 is a strong thread of thanksgiving, first in Elizabeth’s response to her pregnancy in Luke 1, next in Mary’s magnificat, and finally  in Psalm 138 where the Psalmist declares “Thank you! Everything in me says ‘Thank you!’”

However, when I received the disturbing report, I remembered that Psalm 138 ends, “When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand, strike my foes, with your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now” (Psalm 138: 7-8 The Message).

When we face an impossible situation, the “thick of trouble,” it’s so easy to throw up our hands at a bad report, and just go with it. Oh well, at least we prayed, or these things happen. Yet, we ought to stand tall and say with the Psalmist, “Strike my foes and with your other hand save me,” and remember the words the angel spoke to Mary, “Nothing . . . is impossible with God.” True to what He had spoken, the elderly Elizabeth conceived, and Mary gave birth to Jesus.

Both of these women faced their own version of impossible, yet they trusted God. Advent is a season of preparation to celebrate the most exquisite, impossible thing God ever did in being birthed by a virgin, becoming flesh and dwelling among us, then dying on a cross for us so that we could live.

I do not know what God’s plans for my friend are, but I know they’re good ones. And she will be healed, hopefully in this life, but definitely in the next one. But, as long as she has breath, I will stand with her in prayer and trust that God can do the impossible. When I had cancer, I didn’t want folks discussing my “sad” situation behind my back. No, I wanted people who would speak blessing over me and trust God for my healing.

If you have your own version of impossible, rehearse the things God has already done. Have hope, because He’s still doing them.

That’s what I intend to do for my friend, because for God, impossible is nothing.

If you're puzzling over what to give for Christmas, might you consider Home to Currahee or Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees?
Both available for purchase HERE

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