It is an understatement to say that live in an impossible world, where even the simplest goals or desires, situations or environments present no resolutions or solutions. Regardless if it is the systematic martyrdom of Christians in Iraq and Syria, the reckless carnage in Palestine, world hunger and injustice, or the diseases and tragedies that wreak havoc on our lives, it seems to be an impossible situation.
But it is in this world of impossibilities that we Christians are to work out our salvation, as well as offer thanksgiving to a healing and loving God “on behalf of all and for all”.
Certainly we have made advancements in our day and age to deal with many impossible issues, become more accepting and understanding, even more aware and caring. We have better tools and systems. But the reality is that the ‘impossible’, whatever that might be, is always too much for any one person, the last and profound ‘impossible’ being death itself.
Into this world we find ourselves like the Holy Apostle Peter beckoning to Christ in the dark of the night while on the Sea of Galilee (Mt.14:22-34). With no assurance or even guarantee he steps out on to the deeps to go to Jesus, onto the impossible. And this is the miracle. Not that Christ walked on the water, or that he calmed the waves, because that is what God does; but rather that Peter walked upon the water.
This icon of faith shown by Peter (at least initially) reveals to us that through faith what is impossible (like walking on water) can become as common as putting one foot in front of the other. Like Peter, if we keep the eyes of our heart focused on Christ, we also can do the impossible. For all that Christ is by nature “true God of true God”, He shares with us whether it supersedes the laws of nature, disease and sickness, or triumphs over poverty and injustice.
When the Lord speaks of having faith the size of a mustard seed and throwing mountains into the ocean (Mt. 17:20), or even greater things (Jn. 14:20), he is not pouring on empty praises, but promising that His authority is freely given to us by grace. That whatever impossible brokenness the world has, whatever brokenness we ourselves suffer, the Lord of Glory bestows on us the means to heal and reconcile. But this takes unwavering faith.
Holding on to this unwavering faith is the challenge of our Christian life. For as Peter, when he lost his focus on Christ and was swallowed up in the sea, we also in losing our focus on Christ, will drown. But as much as we are given the possibility to rise above the ‘impossible’ by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are also saved by even the simplest supplication when we fail, when we are drowning. “Lord save me”
When we fail, when we drown in the misery of a world that abuses and kills, when we are swallowed up in our own sin and brokenness, by the impossibility of changing anything (let alone ourselves), all we have to do is call on His name. Not only will the Lord save us, redeem us, and raise us up on the last day, but He assures us that his gift of life is ours if we have faith, that the impossible is made gloriously possible, even the defeat of that last impossible, that last enemy, death. “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” (Mk. 10:27)