“. . .Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Possible. As I hold this word up for my theme in 2018, I have doubts about “Nothing will be impossible for you.” I do believe, but like the man who came to Jesus to deliver his son experiencing physical torment, I join him in crying out, “. . .help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Especially in those areas where there’s long standing struggle. I feel vulnerable as I write the things below but here I go.
I struggle to believe God for physical healing. I’ve had a muscle and joint issue that’s seen some results over the years including pursuing input at Mayo Clinic. And yet, in spite years of treatment, there’s been relief but not resolution. God, why do I spend my time pursuing solutions and paying for them when you can move this mountain?
I struggle to believe God for fruition in my desire for marriage and a family. I have been set up, been online, prayed with girlfriends, and attended seminary where people said I’d meet Mr. Godly. Although there were other reasons why I chose to pursue graduate work (I love to study the Scripture!), a place with 70% men at the time still didn’t produce a match made in heaven. And my longing remains to be special to a man who loves the Lord and for the experience of joining together in pushing back the kingdom of darkness because of our union in Christ. God, why the delay in bringing about a dream You have designed for good?
I struggle to believe I can hear the Lord through the Holy Spirit’s power. There are times when I recognize He speaks to me – usually in retrospect – and there are instances when I feel like an outcome occurs that seems like I missed His voice. I mentioned in my previous post wanting to arise ten minutes earlier to give more time to be still. It hasn’t happened yet. I can grow sluggish in carving out time to listen because His voice seems elusive. God, can you make your will and desires clearer?
Now that I feel exposed about where mountains loom in my life to believing “all things are possible” I want to think about how to think about those things which remain a challenge when I know it is “possible” for God to do anything. I know I am preaching to the choir as I remind myself.
You and I are called to live a life of faith. This means not only believing it is possible for God to intervene at any time but also believing that even when He doesn’t act in a certain way, His character remains true. He is good, attentive, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, merciful, purposeful and holy among other attributes. The life of faith includes embracing mystery. Ultimately our faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6) and our story speaks volumes to a watching world when we trust God as we encounter struggles, setbacks, and suffering.
I also remind myself that our God is a God of process. Even though I have received some instant answers to prayer, most of the time God chooses to reveal Himself and to heal through a process. I think about Acts 16 when Paul and his friends tried twice to enter an area to share the Gospel and were prevented by the Holy Spirit from doing so. Soon after Paul received a vision of a man from Macedonia asking for him to travel there to share about Jesus and the door swings wide open for this path.
Remembering Paul’s mission in Acts brings me to a final thought. The chapters of our stories are to be about lifting up the name and life of Jesus Christ through investing in others. I think about the deficits in the “possible” mountains in front of me. For as long as they remain, I am asking God for a deeper longing for heaven and a deeper desire to proclaim the hope for this life and beyond in Jesus. Living in a broken world means things will not be “made right” here and the longings I feel are rightly placed on eternity.
I am not saying I am giving up on God moving the “possible” mountains in front of me in 2018 and I ask for your prayers. I will keep you posted and am ready to leap for joy for the God who is able to do the impossible.