“. . . impossible to believe . . .”



“Why do you who are here find it impossible to believe that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8)

Seeing one rainbow is an amazing treat, but two?  The odds must be pretty high because I’ve spoken with adults who’ve told me they’ve never seen two rainbows at the same time.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen several double rainbows.  On one occasion I was watching a double rainbow form from the dining room of a restaurant overlooking a beautiful valley.  One of the waitresses remarked that not only were double rainbows a frequent occurrence over the valley, but that also at one point she had counted as many as five rainbows together over the valley.  Wow!  That strikes me as hard to believe.  I’ve seen one, I’ve seen two – but five?

It’s funny how we sort of draw a line in the sand and say, “Now that’s possible, and that’s possible, but anything beyond that line is definitely impossible!”  Today a news article informed me that a two billion dollar cosmic ray detector on the International Space Station has detected a hint of dark matter, an illusive substance that can help us understand more about the composition of the universe.  It’s existence had been postulated for many years but only now has it’s existence been detected.  If you take apart those last two sentences, you might find several phrases that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago . . . How about a “two billion dollar cosmic ray detector?”  Would you have believed that any instrument could cost 2 billion dollars, and a “cosmic ray detector” at that?  Sounds like something from a comic book!  How about an “International Space Station?”  First, could you have believed in a “space station” and second, could you have believed it would be “international” – especially if you were a child of the world-war and cold war eras?

In truth, our assessment of the possible or impossible seems based more on our experience and limits than it does the actual possibility of the seemingly impossible.  In fact, our experiences of the current possibilities that once were considered impossibilities should cause us to dream and hope for more, not less in the range of possibilities.  When the apostle Paul stood before the court and asked, “Why do you who are here find it impossible to believe that God raises the dead?” he asked because of the impossibilities that had become possibilities in his own life.  He asked them to remember that he was once a resolute persecutor of the Christians and now stood before them as a Christian inviting them to follow Christ.  The impossible was now the possible.

At Easter are we being challenged to believe the impossible – that God raised Jesus from the dead and offers us forgiveness of sin and eternal life – or are we being challenged to simply follow the next possibility that has yet to be wrestled free from our limits of comprehension?  I think Paul’s question is just as valid today as it was then, “Why do you who are here find it impossible to believe that God raises the dead?”  The impossible becoming the possible is part of what helps me count on the certainty that God raised Jesus at Easter and will raise us as well.  That certainty makes me want to love like I feel loved by God.  I pray that God will continue to lead me in the ways of the risen Savior.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

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~ by revgenelson on April 3, 2013.

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