This evening, I sit in the stillness of the evening still in shock that my dad is dying. Although to many, he’s “a silly old man of 86” his heyday proved him to be a strong, loving father.
He was my daddy; the man who could do anything and never complained. He protected me and taught me what mattered most in life.
It was “this silly old man” who taught me about unconditional love.
It was “this silly old man” who taught me about integrity.
It was “this silly old man” who taught me about God.
By profession, he was a cop and a darn good one. His shield number was 506 and everyone on “his beat” loved Jack. He was a fair cop but, Lord, did he love to lecture the kids who got in trouble. The joke of the time was that many would have preferred to be locked up rather than have to listen to my dad’s lectures. Those lectures never changed and would go on for hours…
He sleeps a lot now; the cancer has spread and he’s bleeding internally. I decide [for him] to have his remaining days at home without any surgery or chemo. Why bother? Let him be comfortable but I’m frustrated because there are no programs at present that can offer us help – he’s “not weak enough” and, he makes too much money.
Too much money? All his money is going out to nurses and the things he needs.
I am not sure how we will care for my dad; since the loss of my husband’s business our money is depleted, I’m exhausted beyond belief and am behind in everything. I cry out in anger to the Lord; then I just cry. I am not seeing a way…
Then I sense these words: “Nothing is impossible with God.”
I open my bible and immediately read, “The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have favor with God. An now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you will name him Jesus”… May said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:30-31, 34-37)
I repeat, “Nothing will be impossible with God” and, immediately, I am comforted.
***The very mission of Jesus was rooted in the impossible from the moment of his conception in Mary’s womb. He was fully human but not merely fully human. He was the eternal Word of God become flesh in our midst. He knew hunger, thirst and fatigue, but He restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf and raised the dead to life. He did what was humanly impossible because as the Son of God He shared in God’s power.
Jesus not only did the impossible but asked the impossible as well. He healed the sick and told His followers to do likewise. He walked on water and invited Peter to join Him. He wasn’t teaching Peter a better way to cross the lake, but, rather, challenging his faith – his willingness to follow Jesus wherever he might beckon, however impossible that might seem.
Jesus asks that we imitate Him. But how can we love with His totally self-sacrificing love, if we do not in some sense become Him? Paul could boldly state, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Yet such a transformation seems to be beyond us. It seems no more possible for Jesus to be born in us than it seemed possible to Mary for Him to be conceived in her. Even if we are willing to let Christ live in us, we know how stubbornly our self-will clings to life and how desperately it resists relinquishing itself for another. We know what Jesus is asking us to do, but nevertheless always ask, “Lord, how can this be?”
The answer we always receive is, “What is impossible for you is possible for God.”
When Peter began to doubt that he could safely walk on water and began to sink, Jesus rebuked him for his lack of faith. When a man full of both hope and doubt brought his afflicted son to Jesus to be cured, Jesus demanded faith of him, telling him, “All things can be done for the one who believes.” The man replied with a cry that many of us prayed ourselves, I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24).
And when the disciples asked why they weren’t able to cast out a demon, Jesus answered that it was because they had so little faith: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you: (Matthew 17:20).
The faith to move mountains, to many of us, seems to be a level of faith far beyond us. And we are right. Our faith, however, in cooperation with God’s power, is itself a gift from Him. God wants to give each of us the gift of faith so that the impossible might be done in our lives. He wants to overshadow us with His Holy Spirit so that Christ will live in us – a miracle far greater than moving mountains.
I understand now and will find a way through Him.
The following video, Ana Laura – Completely, courtesy of You Tube.