Nelson Mandela once said, "It always seems impossible until it's done." Think about it. Thirty years ago, who could have imagined the possibilities of sending information through cyberspace, printing three-dimensional items, or even a mobile computer you carry in your pocket. Yet it takes someone with great imagination and the ability to set aside what was thought possible and allow the impossible to come to life.
While I was reading this week's chapters, I could not help but think about how people's misconceived ideas keep them from experiencing a full and impactful life. If we tell ourselves that something is impossible, it becomes impossible. Yet, if we are willing to press the envelope and believe for greater things, we may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I am not talking about the power of positive thinking; rather the power of theological thinking that adds God to the equation.
As I am reading the stories of Helen Keller and Mark's friend Charles, I am immediately reminded of Pastor Eric Mncina from Siphofaneni, Swaziland. I met Eric in 2012 on our first trip to Swaziland. We were helping build a church for another pastor where Eric was a member of the congregation. Eric's career was running his own construction business, but he lived to give his all to God. Shortly after we returned to the states, Eric lost his left arm from the elbow down while working on the church. Despite being a very successful contractor who employed numerous workers, he lost his business because no one would hire him. Everyone assumed a one-armed man could not do a job. Boy, were they wrong!
Eric's physical limitations did not limit his drive or usefulness. He followed God's call to ministry where he now trains up young men in God's word and construction. Eric's church has six block buildings on its property. All of which Eric helped to build, roof, paint, provide plumbing, and even tile all with that one hand. During our 2013 trip to help build Eric's church, our team was on the roof while Eric stood on a ladder helping us lay large sheets of roofing. When I began to slide down the roof he stopped me from falling off that roof with his good hand! I own him for saving me from some possible injuries. These are only a few things he has accomplished with a God-sized imagination.
Having worked with Eric three more times over the years I am always amazed at what someone can do if they trust in God for the impossible. Eric sees things "As If" they were already fulfilled through Christ. His actions inspire me to believe in the improbable and his life dares me to trust in the impossible.
In Psalm 37:25, King David said, "Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread."
Throughout my life, I have been amazed at how God has taken our steps of faith and blessed them beyond my wildest dreams. On two occasions, I gave up a paying job before I had another lined up because I trusted that God had something better in store. In both situations, God amazed us with his faithfulness in providing.
Last year, my wife, Amy, stepped away from her job for an undetermined amount of time to focus on our family. With our son starting college in the fall, we had no idea how we would provide for our finances, but God did. She surrendered to God's plan "As If" we had already come through a difficult situation and God was already providing. Eventually, Amy's boss called practically begging her to return in a new role that is a dream fulfilled for Amy. We are still trying to wrap our minds around what God had done before we had ever trusted him to do it.
Perhaps life has placed an impossible obstacle in your life whether it is financial, physical, emotional, or something else. Whatever it may be, God can make the impossible possible. Are you willing to imagine your circumstances "As If" God is big enough to overcome your obstacles?