Don’t be afraid to ask God for something impossible

When was the last time you asked God for something impossible? I’m not talking about asking for a million dollars or asking for a dream vacation. I’m talking about something out-of-this-world extraordinary. Something no person on Earth has the capability to achieve. Like the restoration of a broken relationship, the redemption of a lost soul, or the healing of a broken body.

We get so caught up in our material wealth in this country that we lose sight of what is truly impossible. We live buried in debt that we can’t get out of, so our idea of impossible is being independently wealthy. But what about the things that really matter? The people we care about, the lives around us, the hurting hearts?

When was the last time you asked for something truly impossible?

Nothing-is-IMPOSSIBLEToday’s verses are Jeremiah 33:2-3.

This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.

Yes, this is God inviting you to ask. Throughout the Bible, God invites His people to talk to Him, to get to know Him, to have a conversation with Him, and in every instance in Scripture when someone gets closer to God, they change from the inside out.

Can you imagine what it’s like to encounter God like Moses did? Or like Joshua? Or even like the prophets Elijah and Jeremiah, who heard God’s voice clearly? After you’ve experienced God like that, how could you ever doubt Him?

Granted, they all had their bad days, when the struggles of life overwhelmed them, and then God had to remind them who He is. And, fortunately for them, they listened.

But what about us? What great God experience do we get? Well, I guess that depends on how closely you’re paying attention. No, we don’t get to see oceans parting and or city walls collapsing, but we do experience divine appointments–those moments that only God could have coordinated. We get to witness Him working in our lives and in other people’s lives. We get to see the miracles of nature that God has created.

Everything is a miracle.

And just because we don’t see crazy ridiculous “miraculous” events here in this country doesn’t mean they aren’t happening elsewhere. There are all sorts of reports of impossible things happening around the world–the dead being raised, impossible prayers being answered, God intervening in ways that are obvious.

Just because it’s not happening in America doesn’t mean it isn’t happening in other countries. Sorry to burst your bubbles, friends, but America isn’t the bastion of hope and light that we used to be.

But that doesn’t mean God won’t do the impossible if we ask. I’ve seen Him do impossible things, just in my own life, and I can think of several impossible things that I’d like to see Him do right now. I bet you can think of some too.

So why don’t we ask? Are we afraid He’ll say no? Are we afraid He’ll tell us that He can’t do it or that He won’t do it?

Don’t be afraid.

You know who God is, right? God is good. Regardless of the situation or the circumstances, God is inherently God. He’s the only one who is. So whatever God does is good.

Maybe it doesn’t seem good to us right now, but that’s because we don’t understand it. That’s where trust comes in. Maybe He’s withholding something that’s good right now in order to provide us with something better later on down the road. You just don’t know.

He won’t strike you down for asking. The Bible is full of examples of people who asked God questions we might think are impertinent, and Jesus never rebuked them. If it were an honest question from a heart genuinely seeking, Jesus never turned anyone away. And God is the same.

What is that impossible thing in your life that you desperately wish would happen? Who is that one person you think will never change? What is that relationship you’re afraid is doomed to fail?

Don’t be afraid to ask for the impossible. God is in the business of the impossible, and there is nothing beyond His reach. That doesn’t mean He’ll always do what you ask Him to do, and there are uncountable reasons why He might say no. But we should always remember that if God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want, that just means He’s going to answer them in a better way later on.

God never ignores us. Not ever.

So ask already.

I know what I’m asking for. How about you?

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Dandelion at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Get excited about what God is doing

When something great happens, don’t you want to tell everyone? I got some great news the other day, but it’s not time to talk about it yet. I will soon, but I have to stay quiet for a little while. And it’s so hard! I just want to scream it at the sky and run around in circles and dance or something–anything–because I’m so excited.

When was the last time you felt that way about something God did in your life?

Dandelion at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Dandelion at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verses are 1 Chronicles 16:23-27.

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and joy fill his dwelling.

God does awesome things for us every day. Did you realize that? He does things for us that we never asked Him for, things we don’t even know how to ask for. And He does them just because He can.

That sunrise this morning. God did that. The rainbow after the storm the other night. God did that too. God is in the habit of doing miracles every morning, every afternoon, every evening, and most of the time we’re just too busy to pay attention.

Slow down.

The world isn’t going to end if you take a few moments to look around and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Listen to a bird sing or a child laugh. Feel the wind on your face or marvel at the color of the grass (or the wheat, if you’re in Kansas). Smell the lilacs or the roses, whichever floats your boat. And take a moment to recognize who is responsible for all the beauty around us.

And you don’t have to live in the country to enjoy the miracles God does every moment. You realize your cup of coffee is a miracle, right? You can taste it. You can enjoy it. Both of those gifts come from God. And, man, let me tell you I think coffee is a wonderful gift.

There’s nothing better than drinking a cup of hot coffee on a brisk spring morning and watching the sun come up. And that’s something anyone can do, whether you work full time or not. Maybe you work a different shift. If that’s the case, marvel as the sun sets when you’re on the way to work.

The point is that we need to get excited about the things God does for us every day. Maybe they might sound small, but even the smallest miracle is still beyond our capacity. It’s still impossible for us to do. So why don’t we celebrate?

Celebrate the tiny things, the small victories, and tell everyone who did it. Shout it at the sky. God did it! And He did it for me because He loves me!

You want something that will change your perspective on life? Give that a try. After a few days of rejoicing over daisies and lattes, then you’ll start recognizing how many huge things God does for us too.

Hoochild on a stroll at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Even small wonders are still wonderful

I love going to the zoo. Wichita has one of the top ten zoos in the country, and I could go there every day and never get tired of it. But it’s one thing to go by yourself. It’s something else to go with a friend. And it’s another thing entirely to take an almost-2-year-old girl along with you.

That’s what happened to me this past weekend. I got to go to the zoo with one of my best friends/sisters and her adorable daughter, who I usually refer to as Hoochild (she used to be Baby Hoo). Now that is an experience.

Just think about it. Put yourself in a toddler’s shoes. Try to see the world from a toddler’s perspective. There’s something new to learn every day. There’s something awesome to explore every moment. Grown-ups get jaded. We’ve seen everything, done everything, gone everywhere. There’s nothing that can spark that feeling of wonder that we used to feel.

Or maybe we’ve just forgotten what it feels like to stand in awe.

Hoochild on a stroll at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Hoochild on a stroll at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 40:5.

O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.

When was the last time you saw a miracle? Honestly, they happen every day. I think we grown-ups are just too busy to notice them. For us to pay attention to a miracle, it has to be something so enormous, so huge, so massive that we could never have accomplished it on our own. Right?

But how many of us can make a sunrise? How many of us can turn the wheat golden overnight? How many of us can turn a blossom into an apricot? There are so many things in life that just happen that we take for granted, because they always happen. If it’s impossible for us to accomplish and it happens anyway, it’s still a miracle, regardless of how frequently it happens.

It’s easy to overlook the “small” miracles too because they aren’t the miracles we want. We ask for miracles. We ask to win the lottery. We ask to get away with a lie. We ask not to get caught. And we promise all sorts of things if God could just make this one miracle happen. And when He doesn’t give us our way, we give up on Him. We start thinking that He doesn’t do miracles anymore.

No, friends. That’s not the case. God does wonders every moment of every day. He’s so busy doing miracles that we don’t have time to list them all, but if we have our eyes shut, we’ll never see them.

Are you tired right now? Is today going to be one of those killer days where you don’t get a break and where everything just seems to go wrong? Is today the day you could really use a miracle?

Try looking at life from a toddler’s eyes. Think about a little girl who recognized a real live sheep for the first time and put two and two together and knew it said, “Baa!” (And then spent the rest of the time at the farm exhibit shouting “Baa!” in the faces of every sheep she encountered.)

That’s what wonder looks like. That’s what awe feels like. Discovery. Like standing in the sunrise after a thunderstorm.

Look out your window. What do you see? Clouds? Birds flying? Sun shining? Grass growing? None of that could happen without God.

It’s not that God has stopped doing miracles. We’ve just stopped looking for them. And we’ve told ourselves that nothing God does can impress us anymore. We’ve replaced the wonder at God’s creativity with science. And the science isn’t wrong. But is a flower any less beautiful because you can identify pistil from stamen?

So stop being so grown up today. Take a walk and look for a miracle. Maybe the only miracle you’ll see is a “small” one, but a small miracle is still impossible for us.

Happy sunflower at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

God does amazing things

Late miracles are still miracles. That’s what I posted yesterday from the 15th floor waiting area at the Minnesota campus of the Mayo Clinic. My parents and I had been waiting for days for the impossible, and it was looking like we weren’t going to get in. We fully expected to have to wait until next Wednesday, using up vacation time so my mom could get in to see this specialist.

So that’s why I posted what I did yesterday, because I wanted to get my perspective straight. The moment I pushed the publish button on yesterday’s post, the nurse called us. We had an appointment the next day.

We are meeting with an allergy specialist at 9:45 this morning. It’s not the doctor we were expecting, who was both an allergy specialist and an immune system specialist. But we’re trusting there’s a reason a door opened with this one instead. I mean, if God has been faithful enough to get us in to see anyone at Mayo, He’s not going to get us in with a doctor for no reason.

Happy sunflower at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Happy sunflower at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is 1 Chronicles 16:24.

Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

Like I mentioned yesterday, how often do miracles go unnoticed? How often does God do something amazing in our life and we don’t take the time to recognize it? I’m afraid it happens more frequently in my life than I’m comfortable admitting.

Well, I want to recognize this one. We asked God to open a door for us, and He did. So now we’re going to sit back and see what God does today.

Don’t be shy about sharing what God has done in your life. You might come off like a crazy person, sure. But you also might catch somebody’s attention, someone who thinks God has given up on them or who believes that God doesn’t get involved in our lives.

Parents, tell your kids what God has done. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell anyone who will listen.  You never know how your story might help someone else.

God does great, amazing things. Yes, He does them in His time, and usually that’s better than our time anyway.

Sunrise at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Late miracles are miracles still

I’ve posted about perspective before, but I’m really needing a good reminder about it this morning. Having the right perspective is vital to following God. Granted, it’s not necessarily required to follow Him, but it certainly helps your attitude because God doesn’t do things the way you want Him to.

Sunrise at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Sunrise at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Isaiah 25:1.

O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.

My parents and I arrived at the Mayo Clinic on Sunday morning this week. It’s now Thursday, and we still haven’t gotten to see the specialist we wanted to see. And it’s looking like we may have to wait until next Wednesday.

It’s easy to get discouraged about this, honestly, because God opened all sorts of doors for us to be able to come up here in the first place. So I had expected Him to keep opening doors. So what does it mean when He opens a door and then shuts it just before you walk through?

When you hit those moments, you need to take a step back and calm down, first of all. You can’t make wise decisions when you’re upset. And then you need to take some time and think about who God is.  I think that’s the key we forget often because we think God has to be bound to our schedule. We expect God to work the way we want Him to, and He doesn’t. He’s not bound to do what we want. God is sovereign. He works according to His plan, in His time, and He has the right to do what He wants, when He wants. Because He’s God.

But the Bible tells us something really important about God that we shouldn’t ever forget: God is good.

Over and over and over again. God is good. God is good. No one else is good but God. If there’s one thing you can know for sure about God, it’s the fact that God is good. So when He does work, even if it’s not according to what we want, we can still trust that what He’s doing is good.

I thought saving my vacation to use on myself would be good. I thought spending my time off with friends instead of my parents would be good. But do I know what’s good? Do I really know what’s good for me? I don’t. But God does.

It all comes down to trust. Do I trust God enough to turn over the tiny little things I’ve convinced myself I own? Like my vacation time?

Once you establish that you trust God with everything, your perspective changes too. Because there’s nothing you hold back from Him. He can do whatever He wants with everything you have and everything you are, and then you don’t waste time worrying about things you can’t control. You just enjoy being where you are, being around the people you’re with.

How many miracles does God have to do in our lives before we trust Him completely? Just because it’s not the miracle you wanted doesn’t make the impossible any less miraculous.

God does awesome things. He does amazing, impossible things every day. By all rights, we shouldn’t even be up here. We shouldn’t have gotten an appointment in the first place. That’s a miracle. And what we’ve learned so far has already been helpful.

So what if we have to stay another week? So what if we have to leave and come back? We’re here now. We have the opportunity to meet with a specialist. That’s more than we had two weeks ago.

Perspective. Don’t miss the miracles. God has planned great things in our lives, and He won’t stop working until they are all accomplished. No, He may not accomplish them when we want Him to, but He’ll still make it happen because He has promised. And we can trust Him because He’s good.

Iris at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

Miracles

What is a miracle? People always talk about wanting to see miracles, or that they’ve seen miracles in certain places. But what are they? How do you define a miracle? Is it something impossible that happens? Or is it just a truly unlikely situation that comes to pass?

I will admit, I probably use the term too loosely. Kind of like awesome. But when I get excited about things, I like to identify them for how they make me feel. And awesome always seems to fit. Just like miraculous seems to fit the things that happen that I don’t expect.

But what is a miracle exactly?

According to Dictionary.com, a miracle is “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.”

Which is basically a fancy way to say that it’s something only God could do. By that definition, how frequently do you identify something as a miracle when it’s really just something you brought to pass?

But on the other side of that coin, we have to remember that there are many things that happen in our world that only God can accomplish. He hung the stars in place. He holds the universe together. He can change a person’s heart.

Iris at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

Iris at Glen Eyrie – Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verse is John 14:12.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”

When Jesus walked the Earth, He did miracles. He helped the blind to see. He helped the deaf to hear. He helped the lame walk. But more than that, He extended a free offer of salvation to every person in the world — not just Jews but everyone. Jesus did miracles.

When He was addressing the disciples, Jesus said what is in today’s verse, and even now it still shocks me. I mean, think about it. Us. Doing the same miracles that Jesus did? That’s ridiculous. Because I don’t know about you, but I’ve never spit in the dirt and rubbed it on some poor blind guys’ face, only to have him be healed.

Jesus did that. I can’t.

So how can Jesus tell us that we will do greater things than He ever could have? Where is the truth in that statement? Jesus is God. How could we accomplish something greater than He?

Look at the verse again.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”

It’s not that we will do greater things than Jesus because we’re so impressive. The truth is that the only reason we can do anything great is because God does it through us. Anyone who believes in Christ will do the same works that He did — and greater.

It’s not about doing miracles. It’s about believing that God can do them, that the impossible becomes possible with God.

One of the most amazing miracles God can do is to change someone’s heart. There’s nothing like it. And you know what? It happens more often than you might think.

So if you are ever tempted to complain that you’ve never seen a miracle before, maybe you ought to ask God to show you one. Because I’d bet there are more happening under your nose than you think — and they’re being done by people who just want to better themselves and their families. And you’ll find that the people who experience the most miracles are the ones who get out of the way and let God do the work instead of trying to control Him.