Is Anything too Marvelous for God?
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They said to Abraham, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? [NASB] At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.” – Genesis 18:9-15
Maybe you’ve heard or even asked the sophist’s question: Can God make a boulder so large that he cannot move it? It supposedly presents a conundrum. Unsolvable. Impossible question. But it is a failed question, for it puts God at odds with his own will. And God is not two-minded.
Nor is God a wimp. My good brother and I were talking through some troubling issues in my past, and he made the comment: “God isn’t a wimp, is he? Of course he isn’t. He can do anything he wants. So why would he allow those things to happen to you? Why would he put you through all that if he really is all-powerful? If nothing is too difficult for God?”
In that case it was a good reminder. God is over all things. And while that is not the center of my theology, it is a immutable truth connected to the central hub of God’s grace. And the translation of the NASB helps get at that. I believe, more than anything else, that God is gracious and merciful. He is forgiving and good. God is love. And he has all the power needed to do the good things he has in mind for Abraham. And for you. And for me.
I need to remember that. For there are times when his ways are difficult and other paths look so inviting. Nothing is too wonderful for God (check the ESV note: Is anything too hard[d] for the Lord?). So I must lean into his goodness and trust in his loving kindness and rely on his power to bring me through.
That might mean resisting temptation.
That may involve trusting a difficult promise.
It could mean giving God the first fruits of my income during these retirement years.
I will mean loving my neighbor, forgiving my spouse, and doing good to others when I have the opportunity.
But the LORD’s almost off-hand question to Abraham is a good reminder, “Is anything too difficult / wonderful / marvelous for God?” Or course not. I need to remember that – in every facet of life. And so do you, dear reader. So do you.