Wonder: Nothing is Impossible

There are certain words, I think, that shut our ears as soon as we hear them. Nothing. Everything. Always. Never.

These are closed words. Thick with a certainty that doesn’t exist in our world of muddled questions. There are too many what ifs, and how abouts, and except for the time that circumstances to take these words seriously.

But yet there are times we are asked to stop listen to these words that make us want to walk away. That happens in the Christmas story.

When the angel talks to Mary, and ends his proclamation with a statement. A statement with the kind of emphatic phrasing in Greek that shows it holds weight and power over the entire discussion.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37

Nothing.

No exceptions. No limitations. No gray area.

Nothing is impossible with God.

These words are meant to bring hope to Mary at a time she is called to have faith. For her, I’m sure they did.

For us, I wonder if they have more hurtful than hopeful.

Like the times we have been called to pray harder for our sick loved one because our nothing-is-impossible-God can heal him, but then death comes instead of restoration. Or the times we have been told to take a step of faith because our nothing-is-impossible-God can show us the way, but then we stumble and trip on a path that feels dark.

Nothing is impossible with God. But that doesn’t mean God always does the impossible.

Too often, we try to push and squeeze verses like these into our own little life stories. But it is precisely then that these thick, closed, definite words don’t fit. They are too big. They push themselves out of our finite skin and hurt us as they make their escape.

So, what if we changed what we did with verses like this.

What if we didn’t pull this nothing-is-impossible verse from the Bible, and shove it into the story our lives? What if instead we let this verse rest in its context, and draw us into the story of God?

“Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God” – Luke 1:30b

Our perfect and holy and powerful and amazing God bestows His grace and favor on imperfect and flawed and weak and ordinary people. We are able to know God and to be known by Him because He chose for it to be that way.

For nothing is impossible with God.

“You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” –Luke 1:31-32a

Jesus, “Yahweh saves,” is both the son of Mary and the Son of the Most High. Fully human and fully God. Because that’s what was needed for salvation to occur. God in the flesh. The infinite wrapped up in the finite.

For nothing is impossible with God.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” – Luke 1:35

A child growing within a virgin womb is a miracle. But a holy Savior was required, which means a birth unlike any other was necessary. And so the God who wrote the laws of nature chose to subvert them.

For nothing is impossible with God.

If God is really God, this is perhaps one of the most important characteristics about Him for us to believe. That a God who created our universe should be able to do anything he pleases within it.

That thought could perhaps be frightening if we believed God to be aloof or harsh or arrogant.

But that’s when Luke 1:37 really brings us comfort. Not when we see how it applies to our life, but when we see how it applies to our God.

God chose to break the laws of nature not to show off his power or rain down his anger but to demonstrate His love.

For nothing is impossible with God.

 

 Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.