The Impossible; February 1, 2019

Luke 1:37-38 “For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

These are two very famous verses, but we don’t connect them as much as we should. Gabriel’s statement to Mary is important for every believer to remember, and not just at Christmas. We speak glibly of God’s omnipotence, but in practical reality we often choke on it. We are hung up on imagining Him in our image, instead of really understanding that He created us in His. (Genesis 1:27) Because we are certainly not omnipotent, we can’t grasp what it means that He is. That said, God often modulates His power in relation to us. That is, He does the seemingly impossible only as we are prepared to receive it. Here, God already knew how Mary would answer, so Gabriel had stated the birth of the Messiah as settled fact, but Mary still had to accept her part in what God was doing for it to transpire. However, she indeed accepted here role, and as her relative Elizabeth said, “Blessed is she who has believed what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” (Luke 1:45) If we want God to do the impossible in our lives, we’d better believe and obey Him!

This is something I deal with constantly. God has given me a vision of Omura again being the foremost Christian city in this nation, actively advancing the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth, but that is no more humanly possible than I could personally morph into a butterfly. However, just as Gabriel said, nothing is impossible with God, so I am to keep myself available to be useful to God in however He wants to do this. Over the years various scenarios have come to my mind as to how He might do it, but none of those have come about. That’s just more evidence that He’s smart and I’m not. Yesterday was spent talking about my father with someone who will be writing his biography. My father, too, encountered the impossible many times, and discovered that God could use him to get it done. The hardest nut to crack was, and still is, the salvation of the Japanese people. The earliest Protestant missionaries to arrive in Nagasaki wrote that if the Japanese people were to turn onto Christ, they would change not only the nation but the world. That is still true, and that explains why the devil has dug his heels in so hard in this place. However, we are back to Gabriel’s statement, and I’ve got to keep believing it. My father’s many accomplishments are indeed impressive, but they weren’t all enjoyable to him at the time. I need to remember that and submit myself fully to whatever part God has for me to play, just as Mary did, for His glory alone.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the day yesterday and all it held. I ask Your clear guidance for the biographer as she writes, that the organization and the content will be exactly as You intend, fulfilling the part that You have for that book in Your plan to accomplish the humanly impossible in Japan, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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