Sunday, 9 May 2010

God of the 'Impossible'

Sometimes I think the big impossible things of life are much like looking up at really tall trees, like in this picture above. If someone loved climbing trees, climbing these would seem impossible!

God has really been challenging my concept of what 'impossible' really means. Among many other little things in the last couple of weeks, it was in my BSF homework on John 6 that really showed me what God sees when we are busy saying "that's just not possible".

In John 6, Jesus was attempting to spend some quiet time with God. I was struck, firstly, with how He didn't insist on His "me time" and how He set his own desire for respite aside because the people needed Him. That is often our first 'impossible' these days. Don't we always hear "I just need some me time". Or, "you need to look after yourself before you look after others". I've posted about this before, but in John 6, Jesus offers us an insight to HIS perspective on this. It is possible to be available when God needs us to be, and He does indeed give us what we need to make it through to times when we can have that much-needed rest.

The second thing that was brought out so clearly in our lesson last week was how the disciples reacted to Jesus' question about how they should feed the growing crowd that followed them. Philip's response was one of being stumped by the impossibility of acquiring food for 5000 people. It would, after all, take 8 months wages. And really, what was Jesus thinking when He suggested they should feed the people!!!! I know I'd probably be caught up and stopped right there, were I in Philip's shoes!

But then along comes Andrew. Andrew, who brings a little boy with but a meager poor man's lunch of five little barley loaves and two eensy little fish. Andrew had to know that this would never feed 5000 people! Not on its own, anyway. And yet, he was willing to take what was obviously impossible...that tiny little meal....and give it over to Jesus. He demonstrated his willingness to believe that God could make it possible to feed so many with so little. And of course, we know that's exactly what Jesus did. He blessed the food, broke it up and it fed everyone with plenty to spare.

This really made me stop and think. I've been saying "it's just not possible" about something in the last 18 months. This passage in John, that I've read so many times before, made me stop and think hard about what God is really requiring of me. Am I going to be like Philip and allow myself to be stopped by the practical logistics that make things 'impossible'? Or am I going to be like Andrew who was prepared to step out and, by faith, say to God 'I can't see how You will make this work, but here's what I have for You to use'.

Surely, as followers of Christ, we need to be willing to exercise our faith and give God our 'little bit' to use for impossible tasks! How much blessing do we miss out on when we don't allow God to do what He really wants to do in our lives because we don't trust Him enough to do the impossible? And how often do we turn down opportunities to reflect His glory because we don't allow others to see what He could do, if only we would be courageous enough to flex our faith muscle?

Who are you going to be? A Philip or an Andrew?


Lynsey James March said...

I believe that with God everything is possible, and while he steers me towards the impossible I know with his strength it really is possible.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Thanks for this food for thought, Tracy. I fear I lean more toward Philip than Andrew in my thinking. Thank goodness for the Andrews--they help us see another way!


Tracy said...

I tend towards being a Philip too, Frances. I think that's why God has had to smack me over the head with this LOL.