Is Anything Too Hard for God?
By Henry Jaegers
Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age, and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore, Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore, did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. (Genesis18:11-15)
This morning as I have been looking over my prayer list, I thought about all of the people that I pray for every day and I must confess that I find it unbelievable that God in his mercy, is answering some of these prayers.
When I discover an answer to prayer, I automatically reason to myself that there must be someone else praying for the people beside me. Since I started putting together this prayer list, and taking this matter seriously, I cannot recall any time in my Christian life where I have seen God answer so many of my prayers.
Up until now, my emphasis had been on being faithful to pray and I have been so but in my thinking today, I find there is more to prayer than praying frequently and faithfully. What I am concerned about is the intensity and quality of my praying. As I considered this, the meaning of the verse came to me that seemed to open up where Jesus said, "the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." Is this verse telling us that some prayers require more diligent determination and desperation in them? Another thought came to me concerning a time when Jesus was speaking to his disciples when they said that the demons are not being cast out. And Jesus said, “this kind cometh not out but by prayer and fasting”. Now Jesus said this and what he is telling us is that some types of spiritual warfare require greater efforts. Yet, no matter what kind of prayer we pray, God always has the final word as to its answer. And maybe, these thoughts this morning provide motivation for us to make the necessary disciplines in order for something significant to happen.
Perhaps, you were saying, why should he be surprised to find out that God is answering these prayers? But I am not satisfied in my mind when I think that the earnestness and fervency of these prayers are not as I think they ought to be. I am guilty of unbelief when I take the attitude that God can't possibly answer my prayers due to the shabby way that I pray.
But this morning the words of the Lord to Sarah came to my mind when he said to her, “Is anything too hard for God”? As I contemplated the occasion for this verse, I noticed that it came to Sarah when she laughed the laugh of unbelief, thinking that such a promise could not happen to a woman past childbearing age or to the man who was older than she. It certainly was an impossible situation that she faced and her laughter was viewed by God as an act of unbelief. Of course, when Isaac was born, that was a constant reminder to her of her unbelief in the light of God's great promise.
And as I thought of these words given by God, it is not a question but was a statement as well. As I considered this, I was motivated to begin studying other Scriptures similar to these where others were faced with impossible circumstances. I think about the time when the angel came to Gideon and called him a man of valor and what his immediate response was when he considered his present situation trying to hide food so that the Midianites could not take it away.
I will probably follow up these thoughts, but this morning the question hits me deeply in my heart when I pray for some of these physically impossible situations facing some of these people on my prayer list. It brings me face-to-face with the fact that I am praying to a living God with whom nothing is too hard. And I hope that these thoughts that I share with you, when we are tempted at times to remain satisfied with the things that need earnest, fervent prayer, that we will not forget these marvelous words when we pray for those friends of ours who are facing impossible (seemingly so) situations, we may remember these words “Is anything too hard for God?” As we consider these words, it brings forth true humility into our hearts when we realize that this treasure we have is contained in earthly vessels. To God be the glory!