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Impossible until You Do It

Some things seem impossible.

Until you do them.

My first day as a UPS delivery driver years ago was disastrous. Not only did the mules break loose from the wagon

– OK, wait, it wasn’t quite that long ago. But that first day did last a long time. UPS had a complicated way to calculate how long the work on a truck should take. I left that morning for what was supposed to be an 8 hour day. I was 4 hours over that!

But, it got better. The second day, I was only 2 hours over. Within a few weeks, I was finishing in the allotted time. (Which is good because it meant I got to keep my job.) What had seemed impossible that first day soon became routine.

The same was true of running 26 miles. That seemed impossible until I did it. The point is: what seems impossible often isn’t. And, God delights in calling us to do what may seem impossible. Jesus did that with his disciples when he insisted that they must be willing to forgive a brother who wronged them, not just once a day, but seven times a day (Luke 17:4). Imagine somebody doing you wrong seven times a day!

Their response to that? “I just can’t believe God would ask me to do that.” OK, what they actually said was “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5), but isn’t that the same?

Disciples still say that. We just can’t believe that God would ask us to do anything – like forgiving - that would make us unhappy or uncomfortable. I’m not sure where we got that idea. He certainly seems to have asked others to do some unpleasant things:

  • He asked a fearful fugitive named Moses to face a Pharaoh.

  • He nudged an entire nation to leave the comforts of home for a GPS-less journey.

  • He summoned a shepherd boy instead of a soldier to slay a giant.

  • He called the Christ to be crucified on a cross.

  • He allowed Paul to be put in prison.

Now, he asks you to forgive. To forgive anybody and everybody who wrongs you. To forgive “so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins" (Mark 11:25). To forgive even seven times on the same day.

That seems impossible. Until you do it.


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