Mission: Impossible

January 30, 2009
by Sylvia Alloway

Matthew 19:26 – Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (NIV)

I was delighted to discover that an obscure cable television channel is showing reruns of one of my favorite old shows, Mission: Impossible. From the unique theme song to the plan and the payoff, I was always on the edge of my seat.

Jim Phelps, the master strategist, would receive an assignment by tape recording in some oddball location ("Good luck, Jim!"), then gather his brilliant team (the beauty, the actor, the strongman, and the genius), display the nifty gadgets (a lipstick that detonates an explosion, a table that "reads" the playing cards placed on it), and reveal some of the plan, but not all.

As the show progressed, the viewer's question was always, "Is what just happened part of the plan or not?" Oh, no! The bad guys have seen through Rollin's disguise! Not to worry, they were supposed to find him out. The identity he's assumed now is the important one. Uh-oh, someone's going to shoot Jim. Whew! Barney has replaced the bullets with blanks.

But sometimes, the intrepid team ran into a glitch that was unexpected. Occasionally, the solution was as simple as putting on an accent, picking up a broom, and pretending to be the janitor. But more often, the plan had to be completely reworked on the spot, as group members improvised a rescue, a romance, or a repair. Of course, they still accomplished their mission. Fiction granted them the ability to do the impossible.

Sometimes, it seems as if God has given us a "Mission: Impossible": restoring a failed relationship, finding a new job, dealing with a sudden decline in health or fortune. We may ask, "Is what just happened a part of God's plan? Or have I messed it up so badly that I'll never get back on track? Is God really in charge here, or do I have to improvise?"

No, we don't have to improvise. We have to search the Scriptures diligently, pray in utmost humility, and seek the company and advice of mature Christians. But God never leaves us to make it up as we go along. We may not accomplish our mission in the way we thought was best, but we can be sure that He will be glorified and we will be sanctified. God has granted us the ability to do His will, even when it seems impossible.

While we can never truly understand how God works in our imperfect, disobedient lives, we can be sure of one thing: with Him, all things are possible.

Prayer: Omnipotent, omniscient God, how we praise You that Your plan for the world and for our lives can never be changed or spoiled. We yield to You our fears, doubts, and rebellious thoughts, so that we may accomplish those great and good missions that are possible only with You. In the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Sylvia Alloway <snalloway@verizon.net>
Granada Hills, California, USA

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