HE CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
by Max Lucado
The kingdom of heaven. Its citizens are drunk on wonder.
Consider the case of Sarai. She is in her golden years, but God promises her a
son. She gets excited. She visits the maternity shop and buys a few dresses. She
plans her shower and remodels her tent … but no son. She eats a few birthday
cakes and blows out a lot of candles … still no son. She goes through a decade
of wall calendars … still no son.
So Sarai decides to take matters into her own hands. (“Maybe God needs me to
take care of this one.”)
She convinces Abram that time is running out. (“Face it, Abe, you ain’t getting
any younger, either.”) She commands her maid, Hagar, to go into Abram’s tent and
see if he needs anything. (“And I mean ‘anything’!”) Hagar goes in a maid. She
comes out a mom. And the problems begin.
Hagar is haughty. Sarai is jealous. Abram is dizzy from the dilemma. And God
calls the baby boy a “wild donkey”—an appropriate name for one born out of
stubbornness and destined to kick his way into history.
It isn’t the cozy family Sarai expected. And it isn’t a topic Abram and Sarai
bring up very often at dinner.
Finally, fourteen years later, when Abram is pushing a century of years and
Sarai ninety … when Abram has stopped listening to Sarai’s advice, and Sarai has
stopped giving it … when the wallpaper in the nursery is faded and the baby
furniture is several seasons out of date … when the topic of the promised child
brings sighs and tears and long looks into a silent sky … God pays them a visit
and tells them they had better select a name for their new son.
Abram and Sarai have the same response: laughter. They laugh partly because it
is too good to happen and partly because it might. They laugh because they have
given up hope, and hope born anew is always funny before it is real.
They laugh at the lunacy of it all.
They laugh because that is what you do when someone says he can do the
impossible. They laugh a little at God, and a lot with God—for God is laughing,
too. Then, with the smile still on his face, he gets busy doing what he does
He changes a few things—beginning with their names. Abram, the father of one,
will now be Abraham, the father of a multitude. Sarai, the barren one, will now
be Sarah, the mother.
But their names aren’t the only things God changes. He changes their minds. He
changes their faith. He changes the number of their tax deductions. He changes
the way they define the word impossible.