When We’re in the ‘Hows’ of Life: Facing Impossible Situations

By Ron Corzine Published on May 2, 2016

Life is wonderful when we’re enjoying all the things that God has placed in and around us. It’s not so much fun when we are facing impossible situations.An impossible problem or situation is when you wonder “How?” Not when, not where, but How? It might be:

  • How am I going to make ends meet this month?
  • How am I going to put my kids through college?
  • God, how are You going to heal me?
  • How am I going to find time to serve. I’m too busy already.

Or you may be thinking,

  • How in the world are You going to change my husband?
  • How in the world are You going to change this marriage?
  • How in the world are You going to get through to my child?

These are questions we ask when we are in the “Hows” of life.

Fred Craddock tells the story of going to New York City and going into a little cafe to buy a hotdog. There were only two people there, obviously in their 70’s, 80’s. Anna was the waitress, 75 years old. The man was saying, “I’ll walk you home, Anna. A lady your age needs somebody to walk you home. Why don’t you want me to walk you home?”

She answered, “If you walk me home, the next thing you know I’ll be great with child.”

(Fred said he dropped his hotdog at this point.)

“But you’re 75 years old. You passed that time of life a long time ago.”

She answered, “You remember Sarah in the Bible. She was in her 70’s and she became great with child.”

“How did that happen?” the man said.

“She believed in the Man Upstairs. And not only that the mother of our Lord, before she even knew a man she was great with child.”

The man said, “How did that happen?”

“She believed in the Man Upstairs.”

The man said, “If I were a woman I wouldn’t believe in the Man Upstairs.”

Yet it’s true. The Bible says (Heb. 11:11), “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.”

Abraham, her husband, was 99 years old and he still didn’t have a child — even though God said he was going to be the father of a great nation. God had even changed his name to “Father of many nations.” How embarrassing! The conversation could have gone something like this:

“What’s your name?”
“Father of many nations.”
“How many kids you got?”
“How old are you?”

An impossible situation? It was physically impossible. Sarah had already gone through the change of life. The Bible says that when God said she was going to have a child, they laughed. Abraham looked at himself and said, “No way!” And Sarah looked at her body and said, “Ditto, double no way!”

When he was eventually born they named him Isaac, which means “laughter.” (Gen. 21:6) Abraham laughed, Sarah laughed, but God had the last laugh!

We all face the “How” questions sometimes. Abraham’s story shows how God can come through anyway.

Now, I know Abraham’s story might not bring you the peace and satisfaction you are looking for at this moment. I understand if you wish you could see a Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 plan to get through your current impossible situation. It might be that the last thing you want to hear is, “be patient and just persevere a little longer.”

But hang in there anyway! God is at work. Don’t throw away your confidence; don’t quit believing. God rewards your belief and confidence in Him, as well as your continuing faithfulness to do what you know to do, even as you patiently wait for the breakthrough you so desperately need.

We believe in a big God. We need to expect Him to come through for us knowing just how or when He intends to do it. He has promised to watch over us. We can be confident in that, and we can leave the “how” question up to him.

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