The other night I was working on my computer. My almost six-year-old daughter, Annie, was painting a portrait next to me. We talked as she organized her supplies and prepared the paint brushes. She drew quiet for a while and then she popped over to my side.
“There is something I don’t understand.”
“What is it?”
“How can “nothing be impossible with God” and things still not be perfect in the world?”
I turned to look at her. This was not the question I was expecting.
Her eyes were full of concern. “I mean, the Bible says nothing is impossible, right?” I nodded my agreement and she continued. “But Abi told me that nothing can ever be perfect. How can both of those things be true?”
My mind was spinning with a response. Should I tell her about sin? Remind her of how it has crept into the heart of humanity and it’s ability to fiercely propel us towards selfishness, arrogance, and the stubborn belief that we can be our own salvation? Do I talk about the meaning of the verse she is referencing?
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 18:26
Before I could formulate my answer, she went back to painting with a shrug of her shoulders. So I returned to the computer and left the conversation alone.
Five minutes later, she was back.
“Seriously, Mom, I can’t understand why this is true. How can things not be perfect and everything be possible with God at the same time?”
“You are right, Annie. Things aren’t perfect now but God gives us the ability to partner with Him and make the desire of God become a reality on earth. With God, we can be a part of changing the way things are.’
She was satisfied but I was disturbed. Her question echoed in my mind. I could see the gap between the imperfection she was referring to and the impossible life God has invited us into.
Heaven is perfect. God is perfect. Life on earth is not.
That is what I have repeated to myself over the years. Every time something breaks my heart. Every time horror visits earth. Every time selfishness wins the day. I remind myself that this place and this life is not my final home. And it is far less than perfect.
“But didn’t God say that nothing is impossible with Him…” I could hear my little girl’s voice in my head. And I wondered how many times I have settled for less because I leaned deeper into my admittance that life is not perfect instead of pressing into impossible dreams.
Dreams are the fruit of believing that God can do far more than we can ask or imagine.
Leadership is the result of being convinced that life can and should be different.
Faith is the work of standing between an imperfect world and a perfect God and pulling one toward the other.
The space in the middle is where purpose is born and a divine calling beckons. It is the place where we decide between two realities and which one will become true for us.
For just a moment, imagine a community where individuals and families dream about what could be instead of settling for what currently is. Imagine people sacrificing their own comfort and agenda in order to be a part of something much bigger than themselves. Imagine impossible thinking infused into conversations, plans for the future, strategies for everyday living.
If you can imagine it with God at the center as both the Author and Finisher then what you are looking at is the church. His people…living the life He meant for them to live. With impossibility infused into their very existence.
Personally, we have tasted “nothing is impossible with God.”
Sun City Church was once a dream in our hearts. A dream of a place where people who don’t have a background in church could feel welcomed and included in the pursuit of Jesus. Every time someone tells us about how they never imagined themselves in church or excited about God, we taste the evidence of heaven’s desire become earth’s reality.
One dream realized is just the beginning…
What if elementary age kids could discover their God-given purpose and start pursuing the call of God in their youth?
What if worship could lead people into an experience of God’s goodness and grace that gripped their heart and transformed it?
What if the greeting and hospitality people could create an environment that disarmed insecurities and fears so people could feel at home in church?
What if small groups came around people and became the inspiring, encouraging environment that fostered growth and life change?
What if teenagers and college age students banded together to create a difference in their community and live out a story bigger than themselves?
What if the impossible was possible? And it was up to us to believe it and re-arrange our lives according to that conviction.
What if the deciding factor between “nothing is impossible” and things aren’t perfect is you and me? And the gap between the two didn’t have to be so big.