Lesson 15—I Know Nothing is Impossible with God
In the movie, Princess Bride, bad guy Vizzini (played by Wallace Shawn) keeps responding to events, saying “Inconceivable!” Finally, good guy Inigo Montoya (played by Mandy Patinkin) responds, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Whenever something happens in life that seems impossible to understand or contemplate, I think of that line, responding with a chuckle and a hearty, “inconceivable!” Then I remember that if God is involved, that word simply doesn’t apply.
The angel told Zechariah the good news:
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John” (Luke 1:13).
Here’s how a screenwriter might have taken Elizabeth’s situation and put a Princess Bride spin on it.
Angel to Zechariah: “Good news! Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son.”
Zechariah: “Inconceivable! I’m too old.”
Angel: “Your son will be a delight to you.”
Zechariah: “Inconceivable! Elizabeth is too old, too.”
Angel: “Your son John will prepare the way for the Lord.”
Zechariah: “Inconceivable! How can I be sure of this?”
Angel: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Don’t you know that nothing is impossible with God? Let me prove it to you.”
[Zap! A strip of silver duct tape slaps across Zechariah’s mouth.]
Elizabeth was past old, yet she became pregnant. It must have seemed impossible to Elizabeth. Fortunately, Elizabeth knew the Old Testament stories of God’s power. She knew nothing was impossible for God. Poor Zechariah knew that too, but he seemed to forget the fact momentarily.
Can you imagine Elizabeth’s reaction to the news? “Elizabeth will bear you a son.” A moment of shock. A gasp of surprise. A smile that filled the room. Then the realization that God was going to do the impossible. For her. Did she fall on her knees and cry in gratitude? Did she lift her arms toward heaven and praise God? Did she simply bow her head in humble thanks?
Scripture records how God has done the impossible from the beginning of creation. The Jewish people running from Pharaoh came to the Red Sea wondered how in the world they would escape. But nothing was impossible for God. So He parted the sea and Moses led the people through on dry land. Again and again, God protected, led and saved His people. Elizabeth knew the stories, marveled at them, praised Him for His power.
Our New Testament continues to chronicle the way God accomplished the impossible, from Jesus’ divine birth, His countless miracles and the promise of the fulfillment of His plan. Jesus told his disciples to gather together a couple of fish and a few slices of bread. They thought it was impossible to feed all those people with what they had. But nothing was impossible for God. As a result, everyone was fed and there were still baskets of bread leftover for snacks. Impossible for us. Never impossible for God.
Even if she didn’t fully understand what He was doing in her life, Elizabeth knew that nothing was impossible for Him. God saw her obedience and righteousness and showed her the power of a miracle. God did what seemed impossible and gave her a child. Not only a miracle but an answer to prayer. The angel told Zechariah “…your prayer has been heard.” Having a child would have been Elizabeth’s prayer also. In fact, it would have been her most heartfelt prayer in a culture where a woman was disgraced to be childless.
God hears our prayers, too. Always. And sometimes He answers “yes” to them, impossible as it may seem that He could.
If Elizabeth were here she would say this was her story. She knew that God answered prayers, even if the answer seemed impossible to accomplish.
Who are we to God? When we understand that God hears our prayers and that nothing is impossible for Him, we know how God might see His women of faith. We can respond:
I am like Elizabeth.
For thought and Discussion
*Has there ever been something you tried to do on your own that seemed impossible? What did you learn?
*Has there ever been something that seemed impossible in your life until God got involved? What did you learn?
*What might you be thinking God is leading you to do? How might His involvement give you confidence and courage?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for being all powerful. Some things we cannot do on our own. Please remind us, Jesus, that we can do all things through your strength and with your Spirit’s leading. Amen.