Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Never is a pretty bad word to me. I have been told never about so many things that I have accomplished in life. Never is a word that puts finality on things, and says the way is closed there is no way to achieve that or do that. Time and time again God has shown me that never is a word that is not final.
I have been told that I would never work a job other than manual labor. I have been told that I will never work in IT. I have been told that I will never find someone that will accept me for who I am, a freak. I have also been told that I should never give up and that all things are possible. In this way never is an empowering word.
Most times, however, that is not how Never is used. It is used to put limits on things or state the impossible. Never is a statement that is used to mark what is possible and what is not possible. I dropped out of College and was told that I would never work in IT without it. For many years I allowed myself to believe this and did not work in IT.
A person much wiser than I, who loved me dearly told me that it was time I go back to school and do what I love doing. That person was my wife. Getting close to finishing and I found myself in jail. Again I was told you will never work in IT. Even locked away there, a good friend sent me the MSCE training kit for Windows 2003 and I studied while locked away. Never was a challenge. Never was the obstacle.
During that time I found Christ and he showed me that with God all things are possible. It’s something that we all need reminding of from time to time. If God wants you to do something he helps you gain the tools and abilities that are needed to do what he calls you to do. It can be opening a door for the education that you need. It could be putting you in touch with someone to help that door open. It could be simply lighting a spark in you to learn something that you have never learned before.
Never is not the end it may be the end of the flesh, but not the spirit. A scene from one of my all time favorite movies goes through my head every time I talk about this. Words of wisdom from a small green alien to a young man that has come to him to learn, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Luke was not able to get his X-Wing out of the swamp because he did not believe it was possible. Yoda, who believed it to be possible because he had seen it done and because he had that faith was able to remove the X-Wing from the swamp.
Luke told Yoda, “You ask for the impossible.”
Yoda responded, “And that is why you failed.”
Belief and faith knowing that all things are possible allows you to see doors that are open in many different places and different ways. I have been told other things much of my life, you want something go for it. The worst thing that will happen most of the time is that you will fail, but in that failure you will learn something. What you do with your failures is a true test of character. Each failure can be a wound or it can be something to draw experience from. It is up to you as to what you do with it.
History does not generally decide someone’s importance based on their failures. They may have ended with failure, but they would not have been noteworthy had they not succeeded enough for history to take notice. That does not mean that they did not have many setbacks and failures along the way. Many successful professional athletes have a powerful story of failure that gave them the fire they needed to climb to the next level.
Failure is what you make it, like never, you can accept it for your condition or as a way to drive you further. If we lived our lives in our failure, then we as a people would not be so advanced. If Da Vinci had stopped painting the first time he painted something that was garbage, we would not have the Mona Lisa. If Mike Tyson had stopped boxing the day he lost his first fight, we would not have known him as one of the most successful boxers of all time. If Howe would have stopped trying out for Hockey the first time he failed he would not be known as Mr. Hockey today.
In all struggles you have an opportunity to gain strength in it. That which does not kill you makes you stronger they say. I will also say this quote, “It is always darkest before the dawn.” Most times we have to fall to the point that we have no way to do it on our own before we call out for God to help us. That’s not what we are told to do, but that’s what we do. That is why it is darkest before dawn. When the world has sucked you up and put you in that dark place, you are given two options, accept your fate as the world would wish or, Or, finally give the situation over to God completely.
Never can mean never to the flesh, but where God is concerned it’s Never? God opens doors in ways that you would never believe. You see his hand when these things happen. When I gave up on my job searches, I got a call that was positive, and for the first time in years I was truly nervous for an interview. The opportunity seems to be exactly what I have been looking for, praying for. It was God that opened that door and gave me this chance.
I tell you everything that has come before has prepared me for this today. God has a plan for you. I remember times that those words seemed like a cop out. The people saying them had no clue how to help because they knew there was no fleshly way that things would work out a lot of times. In some ways it is a cop out, but one that we have been instructed to use. God wants us to be in everything that we do, ever decision that we make. Pray in all things and never give up (Luke 18:1). Ephesians 6:18 tells us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Prayer is conversation with God. Through God all is possible. Never let never keep you from allowing God to show you that never is never final but a question.
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einsteinby