One of my good friends had this statement on his status the other day, “Every miracle from God begins with an impossible situation!”
I have been thinking about that for a few days now. It is one of those thoughts that when I hear it (or read it) expressed, I think, “Oh, of course. That makes sense.” But then it causes me to pause. The statement makes sense to me- every time I read about Jesus performing some miracle in the New Testament, it’s because someone was in an impossible situation. Doctors could not help, science could not explain, people could not reconcile… then Jesus stepped in. A miracle was the only solution.
But what this statement has been causing me to really think about the last few days is the time before the miracles. I thought about the guy at the healing pool- in John 5. The guy was an invalid for 38 years. That’s a long time. For 38 years, his situation was impossible. I was also thinking about the poor blind guy in John 9. The poor guy was born blind. He spent his whole life in an impossible situation. Then there’s poor Lazarus. The guy had to literally die before a miracle happened. Talk about impossible.
But if you are anything like me, you’re thinking at this point, “Well, those are nice stories. But miracles don’t really happen anymore. Impossible situations, yes; miracles, maybe not so much.”
Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got a message about a young guy I’ve known for a few years. He was in the hospital waiting for a serious brain surgery. The doctors had discovered bleeding around his brain and needed to take care of it. But they were concerned about his coming out of the surgery without being paralyzed, or with his eyesight, or even alive… It was very scary for him and his family. The surgery happened, everything went really well, and at the end of it, the doctors and family talked about the smoothness of the surgery being a miracle. He’s expected to make a full recovery. But the waiting before… not what anyone wanted to go through. It felt like life was impossible.
Another friend of mine shared this on August 27th, “We’ve not received any answers yet on my brother’s vision. They’re doing an MRI this morning to explore some possibilities. Please keep him [and his family] in your prayers. This is a frightening time. As of right now, he’s experiencing complete blindness.” A couple of days later, this was the report, “Latest info: still no vision and now is heart rate has dropped to 43.” Then just a few hours later, this is posted, “God gives sight to the blind! I just talked to my brother who called to tell me that while some friends of his were praying with him this morning, and while he was listening to the song “Blessed be the name of the Lord” (He gives and takes away), God touched his eyes and restored his sight… Do not be afraid, I AM is with you!” One moment there is no sight, the next, the guy can see. It seemed impossible…
Now, I haven’t got a clue why God seems to do miracles in some situations and not others. Honestly, it frustrates me to not know why. But I also have to admit something. I’m not sure I always expect God to show up in impossible situations. Too often, I’m more overwhelmed by the situation than expecting God to do something. So maybe packed in that little statement is more of a challenge on how to view my impossible situations. Maybe there is something to learn during the impossible part that makes the miracle part that much more significant. I don’t really know. I don’t have an answer about it all… But here is what I do know and what I need to return to no matter what:
God is still God of the impossible situation.