There’s no shortage of evidence depicting our reluctance, and sometimes outright refusal, to acquiesce to the notion of impossibility. In the absence of even the slightest support, something inside us wants to step up and challenge the claim that a thing cannot be done. The idea of impossibility irritates us, because it threatens the underlying ‘god complex’ that haunts our fallen nature. We are faced time and again with situations and circumstances that scream, ‘It’s impossible!’ yet our imaginations, poised to challenge every limitation imposed by the very God that created them, declare a counter-claim. There’s something woven into our makeup that wants to reach out and believe that the unbelievable can somehow really happen.
God filled the Christmas story with the unlikely, and the improbable, and even the impossible. He designed and orchestrated it with the capacity to perpetually fill our minds and hearts with wonder. It is a paradoxical exhibition of the improbable and impossible bowing in abject defeat before the One to whom all things in keeping with His will are not only possible, but unstoppable.
Do the Math ~
Mathematicians have evaluated the probabilities involved with the fulfillment of prophesies related to the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. There are at least sixty specific prophesies related to His life and ministry and over 400 associated implications. For one person to have managed to experience the fulfillment of only eight of them would amount to one chance in a number represented by 10 followed by 17 zeros. To picture what that actual probability would look like, consider having a silver dollar represent each one of the chances in that statistical probability with only one of them being marked as the actual winner. Now picture placing those coins side by side on the ground along the border of Texas. When you finished laying them down, they would have covered the entire state of Texas to a depth of two feet. That’s how many chances there are that one person could have fulfilled only eight of the prophecies directly related to the Messiah. Now … consider having a blind man begin to walk around on those coins, traversing the state of Texas anywhere he pleased, and instructing him to reach down at some random point and pick up one single coin, and having that one be the winner. Those are the odds against only eight things announced about Jesus being fulfilled precisely as declared. If we throw in the rest of them, the odds are reduced to one chance in a number represented by 10 with ‘147’ zeros behind it.
Sometimes the Remotest Probabilities Disappear ~
But those are only a few of the improbabilities. When we throw in the question of a human female conceiving and giving birth to another human being without any intimate contact or contribution from a human male, and apart from any kind of outside manipulation by any other human being, even the most ridiculously remote probabilities disappear completely, and the word ‘impossible’ is all we have left. Then the God who created the brain that invented the word, and that defiantly declares that such a thing cannot be done steps in to show us that it can — and that it did.
Let God Use the Story as Intended ~
We love to invent stories wherein impossible things happen. We can’t help ourselves, and we can’t seem to stop doing that, because deep inside us we know that somehow impossible things really do happen, and it stirs our soul with wonder. Gabriel responded to Mary’s reasonable question, “How can these things be…?” with this simple, hope-filled, faith-inducing, depression eradicating, joy-infusing statement.
“For with God, nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
Before all the celebrations dump their deluge of distractions on our overworked minds and bodies, and before the challenges awaiting us in the year that is about to unfold inundate us with reasons to feel tense and anxious, let’s allow ourselves a few minutes to take a deep breath and let God feed our soul with the wonder He made us capable of feeling. Let’s let Him use the Christmas story once again to satisfy that craving for wonder that God built into us. Let’s pause long enough to lay aside our well-honed façade of mature self-control and just get lost in the wonder that comes with the realization that with God, the impossible isn’t, and the improbable does — and the unbelievable becomes the undeniable.
© 2016 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
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