Sometimes faith falters in the face of improbability.
I find while I’m praying that a voice in my head suggests I aim at targets that are more realistic, pray for things which are ‘easier’ for God to answer.
And yet, God keeps on calling me in the direction of flying pigs(!) – of impossible prayers that can only be answered by miracles. Drawing me to hope for things that are beyond reasonable hope; to believe in the things I think I’ve heard God whisper; to expect that God will bring those things into presence of his kingdom so that they have no choice but to confirm to his will.
Something about this picture reminds me of the story of Abraham, as told by Paul in his letter to the church in Rome:
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21
The key here of course is that Abraham had heard what God had promised and believed it. This isn’t a random, wobbly faith in something I want, it’s a faith based on the solid rock of what God has said.
“Ok, but”, I hear you say, “Abraham actually heard God, out loud, for real. Of course he had faith”
But we have the revealed word of God, written down, full of promises true for every follower of Jesus, right now and forever; He is faithful, we are never abandoned, he will build his church, he is not willing that any be lost, he is our Provider, our Hope, our Saviour, our Strength.
And we also have the now-word of God as whispered to us by the Holy Spirit in a hundred different ways. God’s promises – Faith-bombs ready to be released into our hearts.
And in the face of the unshakeable granite of God’s word; simple, obvious reality (a ninety-year-old womb) starts to look a little less solid.
We have our hands full of promises that we can choose to stand on in faith, some of them that we’ve held onto for years, some which we might have left lying around for a long time and are just now picking up again. Sometimes circumstances make those promises painful to look at, but perhaps it’s time to take them and like Abraham be strengthened in faith, give glory to God and be persuaded that God has the power (and the will) to do what he has promised.
So bring out your flying pigs today, dust them off and remind yourself and remind God of those things he said he would do. Cry out to him about the things he has said, and stand on the rock of his word.
May we see God do what seems impossible.