Mission Impossible. I was probably watching Peter Graves do his thing when Tom Cruise was still eating his stained Gerber peas. That whole, “this mission, should you decided to accept it” [yeah, right, like you have a choice when you work for the government…] and then the whole this-message-will-self-destruct-in five-seconds thing. Simply iconic.
I wonder how often I’m given my own seemingly impossible mission, but choose to self-destruct instead. And I mean me, not the mission.
I like the story of an Old Testament woman named Hannah. There were few women’s rights back then, like, zero. One of your few attainable status symbols was to bear children. (Don’t misunderstand me, having children is very cool. I have three of my own, in fact, and highly recommend them. But never are they to be a status symbol. To continue…)
Hannah was unable to have children, which in that society meant she was in a world of hurt. Saddened. Disgraced. Like God was mad at her or something. Her husband chimes in with this encouragement.
“Why are you crying, Hannah? Elkanah would ask. Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” (1)
Hannah did smart thing, however. She took it to the Lord Himself. No hiding anything from “the Lord of Heaven’s Armies” anyway, so let’s get it all on the table:
“Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow:.. ‘if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime…’” (2)
It goes on to say that she began to eat again and was no longer sad. Of course, before long, she is bouncing baby Samuel on her knee, the Samuel that grows up to be one of the most important judges in Israel and the prophet that the same Lord of Heaven’s Armies uses to anoint a shepherd boy as king, from whose line would come the promised Messiah.
Not bad for a barren woman. (Somehow, I just don’t think God was mad at her.)
Anxiety pushes my self-destruct button. I heard that sometimes when a childless couple adopts, the wife then becomes pregnant. (Surprise!!) We are told that this may be due, at least in part, to the laying aside of the anxiety of trying to conceive. Similarly, when we can lay our anxiety at the foot of our Creator, perhaps it makes it easier for something new to be birthed within us.
And the impossible can become a mission we can accept.
1 Samuel 8:11 New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.