25 When his disciples heard this, they were stunned. “Then who can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.”
Jesus’ followers must have been thinking, Look, even those that try to do right by God may miss eternal life. Surely, we are doomed! In their despair over salvation, understandably the disciples ask Jesus, “Then who can be saved?” They saw despair and human impossibility and knew just what that looked like.
We too know despair and impossibility. Even if we think ourselves the most positive of people, we also know that so much of life can leave us bloodied and disbelieving. So, like the disciples, we too might ask, “then, who can be saved?” This is particularly so when sometimes even our good acts, despite the best of intentions, seem futile.
Let us say, just for the moment, the reverse: everything is impossible without our God.
We may be bruised and bloodied and disbelieving, but without God, we are also hapless with nothing to hope for. Without God, our actions remain as human-doings rather than human-beings. For human beings, it is impossible to find hope without the goodness of God somewhere in the mix.
So given the choice, our hope is in the Lord. Our hope is that even when each and everything that we do seems futile, we will remain faithful in the Lord. It is the marker of our faith and what keeps us alive in our Living God. Our belief that “all things are possible for God” keeps us grounded to be the human-beings that God calls us to be.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Reread chapter 19 in the Gospel of Matthew. Perhaps it is understandable that the disciplines felt despair over salvation. Even as believers, have we all not seen and felt the potential for failure in our good actions in the world? Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, our actions for God seem futile. Who or what helps you to keep faith in our LORD, even if all around you feels hopeless? What spiritual practices help spur you on in faith to become the very best version of yourself for our God?
Prayer: Dear Living Lord, you know the depths of pain. Sometimes we feel caught in despair and impossibility. In our world of hurt, there is much to do to help and to make change that reflects your goodness and mercy. But help us first to turn quietly to you. Help us to turn to you in hope and faith. May all that we have and all that we are help us to become the human-beings that you would have us be. Amen.