My favorite moments in books are when the seemingly impossible happens. When Aslan comes back in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, when Frodo makes it to the heart of Mordor, when Owen Meany finds the reason he is so small in size . . . these moments are the most glorious to me because, well, because we don’t often believe that impossible things can happen. Notice I didn’t say that impossible things don’t happen; they do, but we usually just don’t notice them.
Maybe this is why we love magical stories and fairy tales so much. They show us that impossible things do happen – beautiful women are kissed awake by the love of a virtuous man, the love of a good woman can redeem the heart of a wounded man, creatures of all kinds can work together to save the world (in C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength), even the most “evil” person can be saved. We seem to know that these things are possible, yet, perhaps out of fear or discouragement, we don’t believe they can be so in our everyday work. What a sad state.
When I think of impossible things happening, I remember my friends whose daughter was living in Haiti until the earthquake earlier this year. They had all the paperwork done; their daughter had been assigned to them; they were ready. Yet, for three years they waited for God to bring her to them. And God did. He didn’t cause the earthquake to bring her out (I want to be clear about that – God never wants suffering), but he did use it to bring her home. I just saw her again yesterday, and I am blown away by the miracle in that little toothy grin sitting in a Maryland kitchen eating Kraft Mac N Cheese.
In her book Walking on Water, Madeline L’Engle talks about how she believes in “probably impossibles,” these things that we think are impossible but are really quite possible with God working to make them happen. She talks about how as a little girl she used to float down her grandmother’s stairs; she remembers doing this, and it was only when someone told her that wasn’t possible that she began to doubt it. We are so good at taking away people’s childlike faith. I guess we think it’s better to live in the “real world,” but boy, do we sell the real world short!
When I think of the impossible, I think of Peter jumping out of the boat and walking to Jesus on the water. He doesn’t hesitate because his eyes are fixed on his Savior; it’s only when he begins to fear and doubt that he sinks (and notably, Jesus reaches down to save him even in his doubt). We can do the impossible with God before us, and God can do so much more than we can ask or imagine. What a promise.
In my life right now, I am praying for what seems impossible to me. A friend needs healing, and so I pray every day for his healing. Only God can bring about this healing, and I believe God will, in God’s time. I can’t see how, but I know, I believe it is possible with God.
Like Aslan coming to Lucy and Susan after his death, I know that God will come through in ways I can never imagine.
What impossible things have you seen happen? What are you praying to see happen? What books remind you of how the impossible can be possible?
– from Lay Guy – He has a great discussion of Peter’s walk and how it is a metaphor for our need to call out to God in our walk each time we start to sink.