In the Land of Probability... There is something more
Every few years I buy a new Bible. Sometimes it is because I wore out the old one, sometimes it is just a desire to buy a new translation and read through it. When I do, I always start with my favorite books of the bible: Genesis, Romans, Mathew, and Joshua. Not always in that order. I bought an English Standard Version of the Bible in September (ESV). And I have been reading again through Genesis.
Whenever you reread a favorite, book, it seems like new details pop off the page to you. Monday morning of this week I was reading on in Genesis 18. It is the story of the three men who came to visit Abraham to tell him that this wife Sarah would have a son by this time next year. Abraham has already been living with this promise for almost twenty-five years. But no pregnancy had developed. He and Sarah had tried the surrogate mother route… but that wasn’t God plan for them. God’s promise had been specific. Sarah would conceive and bear Abraham a son.
In this chapter, Abraham is 99 years old. In verse 11, the ESV translation says clearly, “The way of women has ceased to be with Sarah.” That is pretty clear. In the twenty-five years since they had left Ur, Sarah was now through menopause. The time for conceiving children had passed her by. When they had left Ur, they had already been in their 60’s and 70’s. It was a long shot then... but now?
Sarah laughed when she heard the news.
Have you ever had that reaction to a prediction someone gave to you? That it seemed so unreasonable. You wished it were true, but it seemed too farfetched.
You son could be a straight “A” student.
The Lions could win the Super Bowl this year.
The stock market could gain 1,000 points this month.
The cancer could be gone.
Sarah, at 89 years old, you could have a son….
Doesn’t seem possible, does it? It seems too farfetched. Too out of reach. In the world of probabilities, this possibility is unlikely.
And yet, the Lord says to Abraham in verse 14… “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” Is there anything too hard for God? Now, don’t hear me wrong. There are things that God will not do: because they are wrong, or because they are not good for us. But when it comes to the things that God has promised to us… the things that he has already told us he wants to do for us... Is there anything too hard for the Lord?
For Abraham and Sarah, it was having a son in their old age. They waited 25 years for this promise. Doctors said impossible…but God had already promised. We live in the land of probabilities – God exists in the land of possibilities.
So, I did it. I took some time to write out 25 things that I thought were improbable. Things in my life I would like to see happen but honestly, in my human nature, I am not so sure. Some of them were dreams about the church. Some of them were personal things in my life. Some were about our family. And then I went back and looked at each. I asked this simple question. How many of these things are already in the will or promise of God for my life? Most were.
God will complete what he has begun. It is that simple. The life that I committed to him in hopes that he would change me... he is changing me. Some of the projects are 25+ years long, but he is working in me. And he is still at work in you. And your family. And your circumstances.
The Lions may not win the Superbowl. That may be more in my will than God’s will. But I am sure that God would love to see your marriage strengthen, your family grow together in love, your faith deepen and become more certain, your kids find their way, your future open up for you, your finances break loose, and that person you love come to know Him. Is there anything too hard for the Lord?
God is working in our church. Lives are changing. People are giving their lives to him. Some years in record numbers, and some years one at a time. God helped us build a building for ministry. We are filling it with ministry. We are paying for it. It seems like a huge task. But I choose to live in the land of faith and possibility. God can do this in us. We built a boy’s home with gifts of a little over $80, 0000 dollars back in 2007. This year the home needs repairs, and you all raised $9,309 through Harvest of Talents. Current jelly and quilts were worth more than we knew. God can (even when we can’t).
Is there anything too hard for the Lord? Not when we learn to look past the land of probabilities into the land of promise and possibility. God can.
Looking forward to seeing God working in us…