And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:35-38
Isn’t it funny how the promise that nothing will be impossible is almost instantly changed in my heart to “God will give me whatever I want no matter what!”? But the promise is so much more powerful, beautiful and extensive than that. Instead, what sin has made broken, Jesus makes whole. An aged and dying body brings forth new life. A tomb for decay in one garden becomes the womb for the reversal of the curse which took place in another Garden. Where selfishness has divided, Jesus reconciles. Where self-reliance fails, the Holy Spirit succeeds. Where the world determines to shame, Jesus determines to dignify. What even 8 hours of sleep can’t accomplish for my exhausted body, God can do in a single breath. Nothing is impossible with God.
“Oh, but he’ll never change!” “She doesn’t have the capacity to think outside of herself!” “I just can’t…” As Elizabeth Turnage says, “Hmmm…that doesn’t sound like God’s voice.”
At Chad’s church league basketball practice the other day, I read the back of one dad’s t-shirt which read: “Worship God, Honor Others, Develop Character, Win” I hope that made you laugh out loud the way it did me. I hope that not because I like to ridicule unsuspecting people on the internet, though admittedly my not fully redeemed self isn’t above that, but because that is exactly NOT what the Gospel is about. Nothing is impossible isn’t about my going out and developing character by my own power and it certainly isn’t about MY winning. His victory is already certain, and includes conquering me.
What is not impossible with God is the changing of my stubborn heart, the transformation of my self-absorbed gaze, the diminishing of my need to be appreciated or even liked by others while simultaneously increasing my capacity to be genuinely more interested and enthralled with the person in front me than with my own comforts and conveniences, pursuits and passions.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Rev. 5:8-14
What is also not impossible is that God can take my heart today, a heart that produced tears all day yesterday simply from exhaustion, a heart that has no interest in diving back into the work of unpacking boxes, painting, hanging shelves, grocery shopping or really even making my bed today, a heart that doesn’t have the patience for a single demand of parenting today or need to engage with one more plumber or electrician…God can take this heart, as it is this morning, and draw it to worship the only One worthy of worship today. It is not impossible for God to make my whining heart a worshipping heart, even now.
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27