As I'm growing older I'm becoming increasingly aware of my limitations. And whilst the spirit is willing the flesh is becoming relentlessly weak. For example, I'd still love to play a game of football... without getting a pain in my chest after 5 minutes! But I know that I couldn't, and that's all there is to it.
So I guess this is how Sarah, wife of Abraham in the Bible, felt when God told them they were to have a son in their old age. Sarah laughed at the very thought of this... but the reply from heaven was...
'Is anything too hard for the LORD?'
So with this I mind I remember that a number of years ago the Reader's Digest recounted a true story suggesting that nothing really is too hard for the Lord. Their summary of this thoroughly thought-provoking event is as follows...
“A celebrated Philadelphia neurologist had gone to bed after an
exceptionally tiring day. Suddenly he was awakened by someone knocking on his door. Opening it he found a little girl, poorly dressed and deeply upset. She told him her mother was very sick and asked him if he would please come with her. It was a bitterly cold, snowy night, but though he was bone tired the doctor dressed and followed the girl.
On reaching their home he found the mother desperately
ill with pneumonia.
After arranging for medical care, he complimented the sick woman
on the intelligence and persistence of her little daughter. The woman looked at him strangely and then said, 'My daughter died a month ago.' She added, 'Her shoes and coat are in the clothes cupboard there.' Amazed and perplexed, the doctor went to the closet and opened the door. There hung the very coat worn by the little girl who had brought him to tend to her mother. It was warm and dry and could not possibly have been
out in the wintry night.”
Now, how would you explain such a strange event? Was this the ghost of the little girl returning from the dead to help her mother? Or more likely, I would suggest, the explanation is really quite different. Was it not that the doctor had been called in that hour of desperate need by an angel who appeared in the form of this woman's young daughter?
Because if similarly extraordinary events could happen in Biblical times, as they did, why not now. After all, God is unchanging and unchangeable.
Not only did God counter and challenge Sarah's dismissive attitude to having the child He had promised her in her old age – which of course she went on to have – the Bible tells of many examples of how He can, at times, cut across even the very laws of nature to accomplish His purposes. And of course if nothing is truly too hard for Him we can have solid hope in even the most difficult of circumstances. Although He won't always deliver us from adversity, He promises to be with us through it. No matter how desperate and despairing our situation may be we can always look to Him, trusting with confidence, in His mighty power and unfailing love...
'Ah Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.'
So, no matter our predicament let's remember how God can intervene... no matter what.