Difficult is not impossible!
A Christian Science perspective.
A few friends have told me about their goals and the difficulties they expect in achieving them. And while I admitted their concerns seemed legitimate, I still had to interject that difficult did not mean impossible.
The worldview of your decision, adjustment, task, or situation may be focused only on the difficulties and may even predict likely failure or at best a long and weary struggle. But I find comfort and hope in words Jesus once spoke: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
I think Jesus would be unimpressed by any and all mortal opinions, theories, fears, and conjectures on any and all subjects. He contended that if you had faith, “nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).
If we’re going to make and implement goals, we need to believe our goals are attainable. Believing something might not be possible is surely self-defeating.
I don’t think Jesus was ever worried about whether he was able to heal or to feed the multitudes. He had no doubt that all needs would be met by our loving and gracious Father-Mother God. He listened for God’s guidance and was obedient to the instruction he received.
The Bible is filled with examples of people overcoming what some would have called impossible odds and circumstances. I have many favorites.
David conquering Goliath and Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem are two of them. Both trusted in their spiritual intuition and what they believed was God’s guidance and wisdom. Both were undaunted by fear, doubt, criticism, or gossip. Their confidence rested upon their divine mission and purpose. And they were certain and expectant of success. How could they fail? And so they didn’t!
I love another biblical example that illustrates not being overly impressed by what would at first appear to be impossible odds. Apparently, the king of Syria had sent a “great host” of men on horses and chariots and surrounded the city where Elisha was. When Elisha’s servant saw the army surrounding them, he fearfully asked Elisha, “How shall we do?” Elisha tried to calm his servant’s alarm and responded, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
And then the Bible says, “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (see II Kings 6:8-18).
When I find myself in situations that seem impossible to deal with or to overcome, my prayer begins, “Open my ears, Lord, that I may hear Your direction and guidance. Open my eyes, that I may see the solution You have provided. Open my mind, that I may understand Your ever-presence, Your allness, Your power, Your love.”
It’s sometimes tempting to be fooled into believing our circumstances are beyond God’s control or reach. But that is not true, as Elisha’s experience aptly illustrated. Right there in the midst of imminent danger was God’s protection and saving power. It is often our fear that keeps us from seeing solutions that are closer at hand than we realize.
One of my favorite lines by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, is, “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 249). So I also often pray, “Let me feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing me into newness of life. And let me recognize no mortal or material power as able to destroy.”
When you’re faced with something difficult, remember difficult is not impossible. And you can feel and trust the power of God to enlighten, guide, and save you.