The “Glorious Impossible” comes from a worship song by Carl Cartee we sing at church during the season. It causes me reflect on all the “impossible” things that God made possible for His glory in the Christmas story. How impossible it was for a virgin to get pregnant! How impossible it was that Joseph decided to marry her anyway. How impossible that Elizabeth, who was past childbearing years, would get pregnant. How God moved a couple from Nazareth to Bethlehem to birth a child in the city of David from the “house of Bread.” How impossible for shepherds to see a choir of angels singing or for Mary to have an angel speak to her or for Joseph to have an angel in a dream… twice! How impossible is it to get a man or woman to act in obedience based on a dream? How impossible to find three kings willing to travel and bring gifts based on what they saw in the stars! How impossible to move this couple from Bethlehem to Egypt to again fulfill a promise! How impossible for God to become man and yet remain fully God!
The Christmas of 2006 was when I first contemplated these things. As I read back through my blog entry for that year, I am reminded of the glorious impossible things that I had experienced that year. God’s provision for two new vehicles, one of which was a minivan for our growing family. Both cars that we still have today. I had seen broken relationships that seemed beyond repair healed. The impossible realization that I was pregnant with a baby girl, a feat no Patton man had accomplished in five generations! However I struggled with what seemed to be the most impossible situation of all…providing for the needs of my mother-in-law without having a nervous breakdown.
The darkest, most hopeless situation at the time was Andrew’s mom’s living situation. She was in a wheelchair with the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s and would be completely out of money sometime that year. She was living in a very nice assisted living place only five minutes from our home, but we would not be able to afford it in the coming months. No one in the family had the financial means to bear the burden of her care in Assisted Living, which left us two options…finding a house with an in-law suite or a Medicaid nursing home. Neither option was ideal. Both required very difficult choices, and both drastically affected our family life. So from where I stood that Christmas I could see no possible solutions…aside from someone just plopping a million dollars in our lap which seemed quite impossible. The other even more impossible solution was for God to change my heart by giving me grace and mercy to be able to live with my mother-in-law.
I look back now and see that God did do the impossible and changed my heart toward my mother-in-law. In the summer of 2007, we bought a house big enough to have an in-law suite for Jean. She moved in with us the following Christmas and lived with us for six months, a time for which I am truly grateful. In the summer of 2008, she got pneumonia. She recovered physically, but her dementia came to a point where it was no longer safe for her to live with us. How impossible it was to have two strong women share the same house! How impossible it was for us to sell our house just before the market turned! How impossible it was to find a mortgage we could afford! God’s glorious impossible! Something that was so impossible and could only be done by Him so that He could be the only one to get the glory.
Last week we sang this song in church, and I was standing next to a friend who had survived her own glorious impossible…breast cancer and a double mastectomy. In front of me sat a family walking through the most impossible tragedy of sexual abuse within their family. I know from where they sit today, a complete, whole family seems impossible. But I know our God, and I know that with Him all things are possible. At the beginning of this year, I couldn’t see how God could provide for our family and allow Andrew to keep his company. But God did the impossible by bringing him opportunities that allowed him to not only keep his company, but expand it. He continues to work the impossible by giving Andrew strength to work two full-time jobs. How impossible is that!
If I know He can do the impossible, why am I filled with worry and fear? Why do I spend my time trying to figure out how to make the impossible possible? I’m so thankful that He has done the most impossible thing by making a way for me, proud, arrogant, selfish Ice Queen, to be in relationship with Him. Not only to live with Him forever, but to be forgiven, adopted, justified and declared righteous by the blood of Christ. How impossible is it for a sinner like me to be deemed a saint! How impossible for man to dwell with God for all eternity! At Christmas God did something that was impossible for any man or woman to accomplish. He made a way for the unrighteous to be made righteous, not for our glory or happiness, but for the sake of his glorious Name.
So what’s your Glorious Impossible?