I keep deluding myself into thinking that one day life will be easy. Isn’t that the American Dream—or rather the American Expectation? You may—even should—struggle early on in your adult life, but with enough hard work and determination you will eventually come to a point of financial stability and even prosperity. Isn’t this our expectation, our entitlement? A life of ease and peace of mind exists just beyond our present time and place.
When Stacy Leigh and I were newlyweds, we didn’t have much. Our theme song for that season of life was the old country song by Shenandoah, “I Got You:”
We didn’t have much when we started out,
Your grandma’s bed and a three room house,
But we made do,
But I got you.
However, now over eleven years into marriage, life is harder and more uncertain than ever before.
Experience has taught me and continues to affirm what I would like to call the truth of Escalating Impossibility. God loves placing his children in impossible situations. Why? Because impossible situations require us to turn to him. Impossible situations emphasize our dependency and his all-sufficiency, and thus they bring him glory.Impossible situations emphasize our dependency and his all-sufficiency. Click To Tweet
But God does not do this in isolated moments—at least not from my own experience. Instead, God strings moments together to create a lifetime of desperation and satisfaction through escalating impossibility. To give a personal example, in the months prior to our wedding I scrambled to find full-time employment that would provide enough money to pay our bills as well as health insurance. I remember the prayers and the anxiety that built and counteracted one another until God answered through a phone call I received just in time—on our honeymoon. Looking back, I laugh. It is so easy for two newlyweds to work and pay the cheap rent in Murray, Kentucky. Now, I’m the sole-provider and have seven mouths to feed. The financial impossibilities of my life have escalated—and this is also true of other areas, although they are not as easy to measure.
I have found the same to be true in the life of George and Mary Müller. The Müllers did not simply begin their lives running orphanages on faith—without asking for donations or telling about their needs. No, they began as newlyweds who decided to operate on a principle of trusting God alone with their needs. George Müller chose to give up his regular salary as pastor of Ebenezer Chapel because it was derived from renting the pews in the church, a practice which caused division based on social status. Instead, he and his wife began to live on the free will offerings of the congregation. This small step may seem insignificant by itself, but consider how God used it as the first step in a life me of escalating impossibility. Consider how greatly their lives continue to glorify God through the retelling of their amazing story over one-hundred years after George Müller’s death.
We may not have a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass us, to keep us from becoming conceited over the surpassing greatness of heavenly revelations we have experienced like the Apostle Paul. Nonetheless, God is still saying to us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). God continually escalates impossibility to expose greater weakness in our lives in order to make us like Christ and to display more gloriously his own power. The Christian life doesn’t get easier. It gets harder, and when it gets harder, it gets easier because we learn to lean more completely on God’s sufficient grace because when impossibility escalates, his grace exceeds that impossibility even more.The Christian life doesn’t get easier. It gets harder. Click To Tweet