Throughout history people have often wondered if they are facing the first impossible challenge that is even too difficult for God. Abraham, for example was told by God that in him “all the families of the earth would be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). But now he is advanced in age and his wife has been barren and is now well past the ability to bear a child (Gen. 18:11). But the LORD appears to Abraham and tells him “at this time next year, behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son” (v.10). Sarah was eavesdropping and laughed to herself (v. 12). “And the LORD said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the LORD'” (vv. 13,14). Sure enough by that time next year they had a son, Isaac (which means “laughter”!).
Moses too faced a seemingly impossible situation when he led the estimated two million Israelites out of their four centuries of bondage in Egypt. Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued them with his entire army and overtook them camping by the Red Sea (Ex. 14:9). The people were terrified. They were caught between the proverbial “Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” (only here it was Pharaoh and the Red Sea)! What could they possibly do? They were thinking, “Why would God have brought us this far only to die in the wilderness?” (v. 11). “But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today…The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent'” (vv. 13,14). God placed a cloud between the Egyptian army and the Israelites and “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. And the sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land…” (vv. 21,22). When the Egyptian army pursued them on their chariots and horses, “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen…And the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained'” (vv. 26-28).
On another occasion, King Sennacherib and his ruthless army had Jerusalem under siege. It was another “impossible” situation. There appeared to be no escaping inevitable destruction, “But King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet prayed about this and cried out to heaven. And the LORD sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned in shame to his own land. And when he had entered the temple of his god, some of his own children killed him there with the sword. So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem…” (II Chr. 32:20-23).
Jeremiah the prophet, in view of the advancing armies of Babylon, was wondering about the promise of the LORD that one day his descendants would return to that land, but he “…prayed to the LORD, saying, ‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou has made the heavens and the earth by Thy Great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee” (Jer. 32:16,17).
After Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ And when the disciples heard this, they were very astonished, and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ And looking upon them Jesus said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mt. 19:23-26).'”
When the angel came to the virgin Mary to tell her that she would conceive in her womb and bear a son to be named Jesus who would be called the Son of God who would reign over the house of Jacob forever and whose kingdom would have no end, “Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…For nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk. 1:31-37).
The stories of God’s miraculous work in the face of seemingly impossible situations doesn’t end with the accounts in Scripture. God is still at work to show His omnipotence and omniscience in carrying out His purpose. I shared with you a couple weeks ago the story of Corey Stark in Portland and how God intervened to spare him from being at a gas station when a drunken driver drove through the adjoining store. I received in response the following story which again illustrates that nothing is too difficult for God. “My sister was a truck dispatcher for a window company in West Virginia. A driver had called from Pennsylvania to report a wreck. He said the Lord was looking out for him and the other guy. The truck driver had gone in to get fuel, went in to pay, forgot his card and had to go back out to the truck to get it. He then took off down the freeway. An hour later he felt a lurch and jerk so he pulled over and got out to look. He saw a compact pickup truck on top of his trailer, collapsing it down. He called 911, then got up on the load and found that the driver was still alive, but appeared to be having a heart attack. The paramedics came, got him to the hospital and saved his life. He had his attack on an overpass of the freeway, lost control of his pickup, launched over the rail, and landed on/in the trailer, the windows inside and the shell of the trailer cushioned his fall as it collapsed. Had the truck not been traveling under that overpass at that precise moment, he would have most likely been instantly killed!
Isn’t our God amazing! Do you have a seemingly impossible situation that you are facing? “Is anything too difficult for God?” The answer is the same as it has always been—NO! “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”