Impossible? Not with God!

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
Week of Prayer #11
The Contemplation on the Incarnation

Old house in Athens, Ohio

The angel Gabriel comes to Mary with an announcement – that she will carry the child who is the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Remarkable is an understatement, and the consequences far reaching. Mary’s question, “How can this be…” is reasonable, for whoever heard of such a thing?

But as remarkable as this is, even more remarkable is the statement of the angel and Mary’s response:

Nothing will be impossible with God. 

Here I am, the servant of the Lord. 
Let it be with me according to your word. 

So how do we carry the impossible made possible with God?

The human encounter with what we call impossible that actually comes to be, this we call miraculous. From a human perspective it appears truly impossible. But with God all things are possible. All of creation is an ongoing miracle, a never-ending wonder, moment after moment. It is the eyes of faith, seeing all of reality with the heart, that enables us to not take for granted the miraculous that is occurring before our eyes. 

I just wonder if it isn’t the expectation of the destructiveness of sin that causes us to lose sight of the miraculous in all things. For we live with the expectation that decay and self-destruction are the normal order of things, and when these are interrupted we believe we have seen a miracle. Isn’t that what we call redemption? And isn’t that what God wants to accomplish in all of our lives? The miracle of redemption?

The conception and birth of Jesus is the miraculous work of Redemption, the impossible made possible with God. Remember what Jesus said to the disciples following the encounter with the rich young man when they asked, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus’ answer enters our hearts with hope beyond what we could ever ask or imagine:

For mortals it is impossible, but not for God;
For God, all things are possible. 
Mark 10:27

And then we have Mary’s response, a submission that is a beautiful offering of worship unto the Lord. 

Here I am, the servant of the Lord. 
Let it be with me according to your word. 

The impossible is made possible with God and with us in a willing spirit. Mary could not have known what was coming out of her offering of submission to the impossible made possible. It was beyond even her wildest conception of what could possibly happen. But her act of obedience to the impossible resulted in the salvation of the world, 

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son 
that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. 
John 3:16

I offer this meditation, sitting with the impossible that God wants to accomplish in each of our lives through the redemption He has brought about. Sit with each phrase in silence, breathing the reality of each into who God has created you to be. Don’t try to figure it out. Simply sit with it a receive this reality. Let the impossible become God’s possible for you!

Let the impossible thing be with me according to Your word, O Lord.

What is the impossible thing You are inviting me into with You?

What is it that is beyond anything I could ever ask or imagine?

What is it that in my weakness Your power is made perfect?

What is the thing that I can do through You who strengthens me?

For with You all things are possible.

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