I love road trips. This past week, I made a trip up to my old church in Redding, California, which is a good ten-hour drive. It has been my habit recently to put on a good audio book and just rest and enjoy the drive. On this particular trip, I put on Birthing the Miraculous by Heidi Baker, which tells her story of serving the orphans as a missionary in Mozambique and beyond. It is an amazing book.
If you don’t know much about Heidi Baker, it is simplest to say she is a modern-day saint. I do not mean to pay her a compliment by saying that; I just mean if you imagine what a saint is, you would imagine Heidi: She has chosen to live a life of poverty to serve and share the Gospel to the poor. But equally important, miracles follow her wherever she goes. She has literally seen the blind receive sight, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the dead raised back to life. That is what I think about when I think of what a saint is.
Anyway, this got me thinking about the Kingdom of God and the impossible and what it means to be a believer, when suddenly as I drove home from work yesterday, the simplest thought popped in my head: We are not called to believe in the impossible; we are called to partner with the impossible.
Allow me to explain. I recently purchased a car: A beautiful hybrid SUV. When I did, I had the option of getting the limited edition or the standard model. Normally I think standard because I like to make smart financial decisions and do not need a lot to be happy. But the limited edition was a work of art: It had synthetic leather seats, an enhanced sound system, a sun roof and some other cool techie stuff. And fortunately my adult son was there who said, “Dad, you deserve this.” So that is what I got. And I could not be happier.
When it comes to the miraculous, I have often viewed the Christian life like that: There is the limited edition, and the standard model. The standard model is a life of service to God. The limited edition is the life of the miraculous. We all get the standard model, but we can choose the limited edition if we want: It is a bit extravagant, but we can get it if we can afford it and we feel we really deserve it.
But I realized in that moment that as far as the Christian life is concerned, there is really only one model: The limited edition. And God says, “You deserve this.” If we have any doubt, we only need look to the Cross, where He died a death we deserved that we might live the life He deserved. Which means that, like it or not, we have all been given the miraculous life. We have all been made saints. We are all Heidi Baker.
As far as the Christian life goes, there is really only one model: The limited edition. That is: A life of the miraculous. And God says, “You deserve this.”
I suppose why all of this matters is that the question before us is not so much whether we believe in the impossible. Because the Impossible believes in us. The Impossible has come to earth, to our humble existence — with all of its failures and hopes and fears and disappointments — to dwell with us. God is the God of the Impossible. And He is not going to change His nature because we feel we do not deserve it, or because we do not believe it. The real challenge then is whether we choose to partner with Him in a life of the impossible.
At my old church there is a saying about hearing from God: “God is speaking much more than we are listening.” And by extension, as far as the miraculous goes, God is desiring to move miraculously much more than we are willing to allow Him. This, by the way, is really good news.
But there is a cost. That cost is letting go. It is letting the miraculous invade our lives. It is letting the God of the Impossible have His way and do in us and through us what He has always wanted to do from the very beginning. Our challenge in the Christian life is not getting God to do the impossible; it is allowing God to do the impossible. It is not believing the impossible; it is partnering with the impossible. Because the impossible is right here: It is right at your door. And there is nothing He cannot do, no mountain He cannot move, no sin He cannot forgive, no hopeless situation He cannot redeem — if we but dare to believe. And take His hand, and allow the current of His Impossible grace to take us under.