Beside the Well
I like to read older writers. Sometimes the language bogs me down, but I persevere because I love the way they think deeply and widely about their subject. I find a strong sense of dedication and commitment that seems missing in today’s fluffs and fancies.
Anyway, I was reading Practicing the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence and my eye picked up on the word possible. He said, “All things are possible to him who believes; less difficult to him who hopes; more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.” (p. 27)
Since God had already been directing my attention to the word possible, I was well aware the Bible says all things are possible to him who believes. But Brother Lawrence didn’t stop there. He threw in hope and love. That got me thinking.
As an eternal optimist and idealist, I tend to see things as possible. I’m not oblivious to difficulties, but I see them as hurdles to get over or problems to be solved.
I know of other people who throw their hands up and cry aloud when faced with a hurdle. It is as if they immediately lose hope they could ever find the solution. It all seems too hard to them. Impossible seems to the main word in their vocabulary.
How wonderful that God uses both words. With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). And, “With God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37). God knows our individual dispositions and has every base covered.
I have found that facing the possible and the impossible with a hopeful attitude and a heart of love creates energy. Doing things without love produces frustration and hardness, which kills motivation. Hope becomes hard to find and even simple things become a burden.
I remember the hard work it took to keep up with the house, be a good wife and mother and be active in the ministry. I never fell in love with housework, but because I loved my family, what often seemed impossible became possible. We survived the lean years and the teen years, and now have an ever-growing family.
Even though the kids are out of the nest, life still challenges me with situations where faith, hope and love are necessary. They help me to see opportunities and make wise decisions. I need them to guide ministry. I need them to face retirement and health. I need them when I flinch at the future because they remind me God is already there.
Looking at life’s hurdles through the lens of these three virtues creates the energy to solve problems and keep moving forward. I don’t know about you, but I need all the energy and positive motivation I can get. Life doesn’t seem to get any easier with age, but when I approach it with faith, hope and love truly all things are possible.
Lawrence, Brother, compiled by Beaufort, Joseph, The Practice of the Presence of God, Dover Publications, 2005