Is anything too hard for the LORD?
~ Genesis 18:14 ~
The storms of life either deepen our love for and walk with Jesus, or they cause us to abandon Him. It’s where we discover our true character and whether we truly believe and trust that God is who He says He is. And, it’s in the aftermath of a life storm, when we’ve reached our destination, that the Lord speaks to us about our journey and helps us to see His presence with us and how He carried us on eagles wings when we couldn’t walk.
Genesis 18:14 accurately summarizes our two-year journey through difficulties that became the Lord’s tools in refining and growing us in faith.
That process began in early 2015, but escalated in November 2015, when we left our place and moved in with my sister. When we faltered in hope and trust, He was faithful to remind us that he who belongs to Jesus, has both hope and help.
As difficult as that season’s transition was, we knew the Lord was with us because He kept asking, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”
In January 2016 the Lord began to move in ways that astounded us:
He provided for us financially (through others and new clients that contacted Don).
Noah’s Japanese teacher (and our friend) invited her to travel with her to Osaka and Tokyo. Then her grandmother invited her to a family reunion at Disney World in Florida. Once again the Lord asked us, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Of course not! Noah joined the family at Disney World in April and learned the things she needed to do to prepare for her trip to Japan. At the end of May she traveled to Japan and participated in two home school conventions; she also had a marvelous time being a tourist.
Living in a space that was less than 300 square feet, we felt cramped, like sardines in a can. We prayed. Then my sister told us she was moving; we needed to find a place quickly. “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” No! Friends asked us to house-sit for two months. On a rainy Friday in May, we moved into a house with four bedrooms and two bathrooms—a living space of at least 1,300 square feet! One week after moving in, we found out that we could stay until February 2017! We began to pay rent July first—at an incredibly below-market rate!
Not only did the Lord expand our living space, but He also provided more clients for Don—enabling us to catch up on overdue bills, get both cars fixed, and take care of some dental and medical needs.
This house was a turning point in how I saw life events: My thinking process changed: I gained eyes to see life’s experiences through God’s perspective and to graciously accept what He allows in my life and not resist Him nor them.
Lesson 1: Though something is old, it still has purpose—this old pink house was serving as our dwelling. For whatever reason, I identified with this house: Built in 1955, it needed repairs, a paint job—updating. I was born in 1956 and was feeling my age. Unlike the house I can’t be repaired, I’m allergic to paint (cosmetics), and modern styles of dress don’t appeal to me. But God uses my imperfections to minister to others. Amazing, right?!
Lesson 2: Sometimes, the Lord’s instruction is humorous. The house didn’t have AC; during the first heat wave, His response to my prayer was, “Look at this way, Maria, you’re sweating out the toxins in your body!” With this perspective in mind, I endured the heat until the weather changed.
Lesson 3: He allows illness in order to reveal His greater purpose for our lives—I got the flu at the beginning of November. He showed me that nothing is too hard for Him.
Prior to the full onset of flu symptoms, my gracious Father provided an organic tea product to prepare my respiratory system for what was coming.
A song, “Great Are You, Lord,” gave rise to a prayer that His breath enter my lungs to kill the virus and cleanse and heal my lungs.
In a dream, Jesus embraced me and I knew I was healed; the virus was dead. That day I started getting better. And though my respiratory system was weakened, His breath was in my lungs, and healing came.
We may not always know why God allows trials that tax us to our limits, but we’re not alone—He’s always with us. He’s promised to “never leave us nor forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5), and that “…goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6, KVJ). But this time, He did reveal both at that time, and in hindsight, that getting the flu in November was a Godsend—it was like a vaccination early in the flu season. It meant that my body was ready for what was coming in the first three months of 2017.
Lesson 4: “’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” and “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day,” are true—I lived them (2 Corinthians 12:9; 4:16).
Dust, paint, and other chemical fumes stressed my lungs and body when the interior of the house was painted and the hallway bathroom remodel began (in January 2017). And the question was asked again, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Again, my answer was no. His grace and power got me through each day as I leaned more and more on Him whose shoulders are strong and wide, whose arms are warm and loving, and whose heartbeat said, “Beloved, I’m with you and for you. I’m taking care of you.”
Lesson 5: God sets boundaries to things that are out of our control.
One weekend in January, three storms deluged the southland. Friday brought a torrential downpour—water rushed, like a river, from the side of the house that was paved with concrete into a backyard that was already flooding. Water quickly approached the sliding door, but we didn’t panic. We prayed that the downpour stop and it did!
The Lord was gracious because it didn’t rain on Saturday, giving us one day for the land to drain and dry out. On Sunday I was afraid of leaving the house to attend church, so I prayed: “Father, I don’t want to trust in fear, I want to trust in You! Give me a verse to hold onto and to keep me from giving in to fear.”
He gave me three! He parted the Red Sea and held the waters up (Exodus 14:21); He set the boundaries of the seas (Jeremiah 5:22); and He held the water up at the Jordan River (Joshua 3:16). I asked Him to place a boundary for the water and not let it flood the patio or come into the house and left. When I drove out, the streets were beginning to flood, but I didn’t fear.
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Absolutely not! When I returned, I drove through streets and intersections that were like rivers and large ponds. Cars were getting stuck, even the bus had a hard time getting through. But around the house things were different—in the backyard, God held the water at the concrete joining line (the line beside the right side of the bench)!
Throughout Sunday and into Monday, when the third storm came, the water held at the boundary God set at patio’s concrete joining line!
The five-year California drought ended in 2017 because of all the rain and snow that fell; and through it all, the Lord maintained a boundary around the house. Truly,
God is our refuge and strength
A very present help in trouble.
~ Psalm 46:1 ~
Are troubles overwhelming you? Ask, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Then hand the reins of your life over to Him just as Proverbs 3:5-6 instruct us to do:
Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth
[removing obstacles that block your way].
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” How could anything be “too hard” for You? You are God Almighty, the One who spoke and it was; You are the Beginning and the End. You set eternity in our hearts so that we would turn to You to satisfy the emptiness in us. You love us. The proof is in the fact that Jesus took our wrath upon Himself on the cross, and then showed His power over death by resurrecting. Nothing is was too hard for You!
Father, help us to keep this in mind as we face various trials. In looking at our troubles with Your eyes, we will “count it all joy,” as James 1:2 says. You’re ever present and ready to show Yourself strong on our behalf as faith is tested to produce fruit that is pleasing in Your sight. You desire to conform us into Your Son’s image so that we too can stand, as He did, in the day of our testing and bring honor and glory to You.
We’re grateful for Your presence and love, patience and grace, strength to endure, training in perseverance, and the amazing work You’re doing in us. We love You, Jesus, and we rejoice in being loved and cared for by You! In Your name we pray, amen!