“Birthed Through Impossibilities” (November 2005)
It’s that time of year again-- Christmas is quickly approaching. While most of us are getting ready for it- planning our Christmas baking, mailing Christmas cards, buying gifts, getting out the decorations, there is another group of people who are working just as hard (if not harder) to do away with Christmas. They are trying to change the name from Christmas to “Holiday”- even renaming the tree. Only God knows the outcome of this “war on Christmas”. They may succeed in changing the name; they may succeed in doing away with religious symbols in public places, but they will never be able to do away with the “Truth” of Christmas. No matter how hard they try, how much they fight, the fact remains that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, God Almighty Himself was born as a baby in a manger over two thousand years ago. Man might be able to erase the “trimmings” and all the things that we associate with Christmas, but he can’t erase the Truth.
Since most of us are gearing up for the Christmas festivities, I want to talk about the birth of Christ for a moment-- we should never forget this is the real reason for our celebration. The very first prophecy about the coming Messiah who would take away the sins of the world was given in the Garden of Eden at the fall of mankind through Adam. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) According to God’s time table, when it was time to fulfill this prophecy the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary to give her the message that she was the one chosen to give birth to the Christ. “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:26-28) The birth of Jesus was a miraculous event. When Gabriel gave Mary the message, she was still a virgin- “and the virgin's name was Mary”. “Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18- New Living Translation) “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)- so upon hearing the announcement of the angel, she asked, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34) One of the things that makes the birth of Jesus so miraculous is that He was conceived out of an “impossible” situation. Not only did He, God, come to earth in human form, but His entrance into the world came through a biologically impossibility. I’m sure I don’t need to give you a lesson in biology- it takes a male and a female to produce a child. This was not the case in Mary’s conception of Jesus. Mary’s question to the angel was not one of unbelief, but one that was asked from a purely natural standpoint. In the natural it is impossible for a virgin to get pregnant, and I am sure that Mary was thinking just like we do. We think that everything that happens has to be done within the bounds of the natural- naturally so, because we are “flesh and blood” people living in a natural world. We also tend to think that when God wants to do something- fulfill His word, answer our prayer, etc.- He has to do it through a certain set of rules, formulas and guidelines. We forget that He doesn’t have to work within the boundaries of the natural. He is a supernatural God and can work outside of the realms that we are familiar with and accustomed to. He can produce a child without two people in the equation- He created Adam from dirt, not from a mother’s womb. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) Because God was in the equation at Mary’s conception, even though it was “naturally” impossible for a virgin to have a baby, she did. “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:25) “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) It was impossible, yet she conceived and gave birth to our precious Savior Jesus. How could this happen? The answer-- “For with God nothing shall be impossible”. (Luke 1:37)
According to the dictionary a miracle is: any amazing or wonderful occurrence; a marvelous event manifesting a supernatural act of God. Jesus’ birth was a miracle. It was an occurrence that came about as a supernatural act of God. One thing that sets a miracle apart from just a natural occurrence is the fact that miracles are born through impossible situations. They come through situations that are impossible for man to do anything about, to change or to make happen. Thus, the are “birthed through impossibilities”.
I want to encourage you this month that it doesn’t matter how impossible your situation looks, it’s the “birthing ground” for a miracle. “For with God nothing shall be impossible”. (Luke 1:37) The fact that Mary was a virgin made it look impossible for her to have a child, but she gave birth to Jesus. A miracle was born through an impossibility.
Let’s look at some examples in the Bible of people whose healing was birthed through an impossible situation. “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.” (2 Kings 20:1,4,5) King Hezekiah was so ill that the Lord sent the prophet Isaiah to tell him to get his house in order because he wasn’t going to make it. There was nothing that Hezekiah could do about his condition- death was emanant. But Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed. God intervened, took this impossible situation and turned it into a miracle. Not only was Hezekiah healed but he lived for fifteen more years. His miracle came forth through an impossible situation.
The woman with the issue of blood was also in an impossible situation. She had been ill for twelve years. “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any.” (Luke 8:43) “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.” (Mark 5:25,26) She had seen doctor after doctor. She tried each new medicine that came on the market hoping for a cure. She had spent all her savings, the insurance ran out, she couldn’t get disability; and she still wasn’t any better. Perhaps some of you can relate to her. You have been diagnosed with a terminal disease or some illness. Maybe the doctor has told you that there is no hope for survival- it’s just a matter of time. You have been through treatment after treatment, and seen one specialist after another. Only to no avail. Remember, that impossible situations are “birthing grounds” for miracles. “When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” (Mark 5:27-29) This woman got a miracle- her disease was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. Out of her impossible situation a miracle was born.
There are times when we find ourselves in situations that look hopeless. You lost your job. The bill collectors are after you, your house is about to be foreclosed, there is no money for groceries, etc. Maybe some of you were effected by the hurricanes and now FEMA and anyone else that was helping you are no longing giving you assistance. Whatever you are facing, you can see no way out. You can’t go forward and you can’t go backwards- you are “stuck”. The Israelites found themselves in this same kind of situation. The Lord delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, but after they left the land Pharaoh decided to go after them and bring them back. When the Israelites got to the Red Sea they could go no further. With the Red Sea in front of them and the armies of Pharaoh behind them they were trapped without any way of escape. They could not deliver themselves. They were facing death or a return to slavery. Talk about being in an impossible situation; they were. But remember, miracles are birthed through impossible situations. “Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus 14:12-16,30) Though the situation looked impossible in the natural; God supernaturally intervened and a miracle was born before their eyes.
One of the children’s favorite Bible stories is the story of David and Goliath. When David, a shepherd boy went up against the giant Goliath he faced impossible odds. David was a shepherd; he had no combat skills or training, no armor, nothing but a sling shot and five smooth stones. Goliath, on the other hand, was well trained. He was a soldier, a warrior, a champion. He was fully dressed in armor, carried a sword and spear and shield. Goliath was much bigger and taller than David. Just looking at Goliath promoted fear in the hearts of the Israelite soldiers. In the natural David didn’t stand a chance. Goliath could easily destroy David with one swipe of his sword. But as you know Goliath didn’t win; he lost. “And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.“ (1 Samuel 17:48-51) David’s victory came through impossible odds. He shouldn’t have won. A small smooth stone in a sling shot can’t bring down a giant. It just doesn’t happen- this is an impossibility. “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26b)
I could go on an on with example after example- the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lion’s den, the sun standing still so that Joshua could win the battle, an ax head swimming, and so on. Each of these were miracles that were born out of impossible situations and circumstances. They were all impossible for man to make happen. We can easily find ourselves in impossible situations but finding the solution and way out is not always as easy. Each of the miracles that we have talked about had another factor in common- in each case there was a divine intervention. God Himself stepped into the picture and did what only He can do. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and called out to God; God heard him and healed him. The woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was made whole. The Israelites saw the salvation of the Lord when He opened the sea and made it dry ground for them to pass through, then He closed the sea back up on Pharaoh’s army and they all drown. David trusted in the Lord’s power not the king’s armor. He went to face Goliath in the name of the Lord and God gave him the victory.
I don’t know what you may be facing. You might have a terminal illness, a lingering disease that is zapping the life out of you, you might be struggling with issues that can’t seem to be resolved, you might be facing a crisis in your relationships, maybe you are in a financial strait, whatever you are going through, I want to remind you that even though the situation you are facing looks impossible for you or anyone else to do anything about, it’s not impossible for God. There are nine times in the Bible that the word “impossible” is used. Four of those times are scriptures that tell us that nothing is impossible for God. (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37,18:27)
The examples from the Bible that I have shared with you above are not confined to Biblical times. Miracles still happen today because we are still faced with circumstances and situations that we can do nothing about. They are not restricted to another period of time because the miracles were done by God- not man. (That what makes them miracles- only God can do them.) Since they are done by God, then they can still happen today. Why? Because, contrary to what some may believe, God is not dead; He is still very much alive and well. Besides, my Bible tells me that He is the “same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8); “He does not change” (Malachi 3:6) If He did it before, He’ll do it again. If He did it in times past, He’ll do it in times present.