And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Genesis 18:13-14
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" What a great question. In times of personal crisis, national confusion, and societal chaos, you and I might be tempted to believe that problems of today are too much for our God to handle. Beloved friend, cast that kind of thinking as far away from your mind as possible, as nothing is too hard for the Lord. Let's think about it...
Abraham had already begun his great faith journey, whereby he was called a friend of God. He began this walk of faith at the age of seventy-five as revealed in Genesis 12:1-4. Here is man who had passed the prime of life being told that his offspring would become a great nation. When the Lord appeared to him in Genesis 15 some ten years later, he and his wife still had no children. Yet the plan and promise of God had not changed with the changing circumstances of natural aging. By the time you reach our focus text in Genesis 18, another fifteen years had passed. He was now ninety-nine years of age, and she was ninety. Surely the promise of God would prove null and void considering their ages, as she had long lost the ability to conceive and bare children. No wonder she laughed at the prospect of God's promise becoming an actual reality for them. But, here's that hard, pressing question: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
Now you might be wondering what this has to do with the photograph of an aging vehicle. Let me explain. In 2001, Tammy and I encountered the Lord's leadership to trust Him in providing us a home to call our very own. This was a very daunting proposition for us, and at times I nearly baled out of following His leadership when I could not see how we could make our financial ends meet while operating a faith ministry. The following year, as we were praying earnestly about trusting Him for our Faith House, it became apparent that we needed new transportation. As is our habit, we partnered together in prayer for the Lord to lead and direct us concerning this need. God worked as only He could in making our paths cross with a car dealer who sought to minister to ministers. We had come to the understanding that we were to look for and purchase a Chevrolet Trailblazer with a third row seat and room to seat seven passengers. When we arrived at the lot to meet this gentleman, he had only one of the Trailblazer extended versions available, and it was brought in from another dealership at the request of a potential buyer. We gave it a test drive, sat down with him to talk about pricing and financing, and told him that we would let him know of any decision that we made should that vehicle still be available at a later date. Even with a very generous discounted price and an extremely low interest rate, we knew the payments would be just over $500 per month. To us, sending that amount to GMAC every month for five years seemed utterly impossible. But, is anything too hard for the Lord?
We knew that we would be returning to his area of
Mississippi in a couple of weeks, so we prayed that if we were to trust God for
that SUV, that one, not another one, then it would be on this man's lot when we
returned. When we arrived on
Friend, why do I share this with you? Because it's so very easy to be overwhelmed by current circumstances of life and lose sight of the faithfulness of God. Not only was He faithful to us in the purchase and financial obligation of the Trailblazer, but He maintained our vision for our Faith House as well. Have you ever heard the old cliché: "Where God guides, He provides"? Well, IT'S TRUE! Before we bought this vehicle, we were living debt free in my hometown of the Mississippi Delta, paying $200 a month rent to the Duncan Baptist Church to live in their parsonage, which was a very nice, three bedroom/two bath, ranch style, brick home. But now we had entered into a financial obligation to General Motors while preparing to undertake the responsibility of relocating and building our new home. We agonized in prayer over all of this, and moved forward in obedience. When we completed our Faith House in 2004, we had a $950 monthly note on a thirty year mortgage, as well as the Trailblazer payments, and neither of us had what is considered to be gainful employment with a guaranteed income. How we even qualified for extremely low interest loans is another testimony of God's grace working in our lives. When the Trailblazer was paid off, home interest rates were on a lowering trend, so we refinanced to a fifteen year mortgage with a $1,200 monthly obligation to hasten our payoff. And as only our gracious God could do, He worked to have our goal of once again living debt free a reality, as we just paid off our Faith House mortgage six years early. Thank you JESUS!!
The journey has not been easy, and many questions circling our lives remain unanswered. Yet through it all, God has been faithful. When we step outside and see the Trailblazer, it constantly reminds us that God can make a way, when there seems to be no way. Amen! In fact, there are three other automobiles parked outside of our home, and the Trailblazer is the only one that we paid for. All of the others were given to us! The Lord makes sure that I remember this whenever I want to camp out in a place of despair and wonder how He can possibly supply our many needs. NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE LORD!
Abraham's wife, Sarah, was going to soon learn this great principle. In Genesis 21:1-3, the Bible says: "And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac." Is anything too hard for the Lord?