Just because something is impossible, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not be enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (John 6:5-7)
There was a problem. Thousands of people were hungry and had nothing to eat. To Philip, this was a major problem; an insurmountable problem; an IMPOSSIBLE problem for him to solve. And you know what? He was right. He was right….but he wasn’t alone.
May I ask you a personal question?
What moves you?
In those rare instances when you are able to get off by yourself for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood and your mind isn’t cluttered with worries and tasks, what ideas begin floating to the surface that stir your soul? As you start thinking about those ideas your pulse quickens and your eyes dilate as excitement starts to well up within you. You don’t really even know where those ideas come from. They’re yours….but then again, somehow, they aren’t yours. They are just there, and they are good. You know they are good. But regardless of their source, just thinking about them makes you feel alive.
You want to pursue that idea, and for some reason truly feel like you should pursue it. You can envision all of the good that could come about if you do. But when you start thinking about all the things that would have to happen for this idea to come to fruition, it just seems, well….impossible. You know what?
You’re right…but you’re not alone.
The greatest accomplishments in your life will be determined by which of these ideas, if any, you pursue. What you decide to pursue will be determined by what you think is possible. And for most people, that is what will hold them back. They will only pursue that which they can envision accomplishing alone.
“Eight months’ wages would not be enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Solving the problem is impossible to Philip…so he does nothing.
But what if you never stopped to think whether something was possible or not. What if you simply took the greatest passions or ideas you have and simply pursued your vision of what could be?
What if instead of being the pragmatic Philip, you were the hopeful and expectant Mary?
“They have no more wine.” (John 2:3)
With Jesus, his disciples and many others at a wedding in Cana, Mary sees the stress on the family’s faces as they realize the dreaded social consequences that will soon bring an end to a celebration that was to joyfully begin a new couple’s marriage.
Was Mary capable of solving that problem? Nope.
Did she know what Jesus was going to do? I don’t think she did.
Would it have ever crossed her mind that Jesus was about to have jars used for ceremonial washing to do his first miracle? These jars are like something between a bath tub and a toilet bowl, and out of them was about to flow the most heavenly vintage of wine ever produced. Literally!
This thought I can confidently say would have never entered Mary’s mind in a million years. It’s impossible. And even more than that, it is the impossible done with a flair; because with Him, the impossible isn’t just doable…it’s easy!
Mary knew the problem she wanted to address (no more wine), and even though she didn’t know how it would ultimately be solved, she took the first step and did what she thought she should do. She took her problem to Jesus. Her problem then became His. But in many cases, they are His before they ever become ours. And it is only when we truly take ownership of them that we can make them His again. And that is when miracles happen.
Allow me to explain.
I believe that in the same way each of us are given certain gifts, we have also been given certain missions in life. (Ephesians 2:10 comes to mind: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”) Those missions, assignments, or problems, are almost always linked to the very issues that move us the most. In short, they are near and dear to our hearts. What we ultimately do with them is up to us, but we have an innate emotional impetus to help propel us to action.
Jesus wanted Philip to see that when you are doing good to others, you need not be bound by your own limitations. As you start to move forward in your quest to make life better for others, you will see others following in your wake. They will possess different talents, resources, and levels of authority than you do. They can make things happen that you alone could not.
This world is starved for people who truly want to help their fellow man, who are selflessly willing to work to improve the lot of others. And when you begin moving forward with a powerful vision to make that happen, heaven and earth will conspire to help you along.
Philip knew something was impossible, so he did nothing. Mary didn’t bother to worry about whether something was possible or not, so she acted. And when she moved, the miraculous occurred.
So as you think about that one thing you would love to accomplish, and how much bigger than you that problem actually is, remember….you’re not alone.