Rumpled Faith

Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Observation: Abraham was sitting in the door of his tent when three men appeared to him. Most agree that the three were the Lord Himself and two angels. Abraham begins by acting the good host, offering a meal while inviting them to linger. In the ensuing conversation this remarkable promise is made to Abraham: “…Sarah your wife shall have a son.” Sarah, listening from within their tent, “laughed to herself, saying ‘After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord (husband) being old also?’” And the Lord, still speaking to Abraham but addressing Sarah’s question, said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Application: It is a question well worth pondering, not one to be answered on the run between gulps of coffee and red traffic signals. For if I am reflective long enough, I will have to confess that I have lived my life with an accumulating pile of disappointments…instances that have indeed seemed too hard for the Lord. My head tells me that what He spoke is true; after all, He is the Lord, and who am I to question what He says about His own capabilities? And there have indeed been many evidences of His wonder-working power in my life and in the lives of those around me.

Still, flesh not yet dead is still all too able to rise up in its wounding to recount those times when the thing rearing its ugly head did indeed seem like it was too hard for the Lord. Like Noah’s foreskin angrily flung across the room, don’t I long to spout the litany of His apparent failures? “This horrible medical condition…”, “That hurtful relationship…”, “Our financial crisis…”; all these and more can weigh down the heart and cause me to wonder how the Lord with honesty can claim nothing is too hard for Him.

And then it comes to me: The problem is not His limitation or disinterest. After all, didn’t this pre-eternal One ultimately go to the Cross for me? No, He is intensely, passionately interested, fully engaged, and able to conquer even death itself. The problem is my gaze. My eyes have fallen. No longer locked upon His beautiful face, I have instead allowed my focus to be lowered, to dwell upon and mentally dissect my own wounding and fears. And in doing so, my heart naturally follows where my eyes have led, and faith is rumpled indeed. Not completely perhaps, not for all time necessarily, but in that situation, weighed down and covered with heaviness.

So I must choose by act of will to again lift my eyes to His, to re-engage His gaze so I could nod in wholehearted agreement when He asks “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Prayer: Father, I confess that I have allowed situations or relationships in my life to overwhelm me, sometimes to the point of utter despair. But You, O Lord, are able. Your arm is not shortened. Nothing is too difficult for you, O God. So forgive me, Lord, and renew for me the joy of intimacy with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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