Hope Solo is impossible!
Hope was Goalkeeper for Team USA that won the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She guards her territory with a sneer and dives like she’s on springs instead of cleats. She played every minute of the seven-game World Cup tournament, had five shutouts and an outlandish 567 minute stretch where she didn’t give up a single goal. “She made saves that nobody else in the world can make,” said one of her teammates. When Hope is in goal, opposing teams find it almost impossible to score.
She’s that good!
Then there’s the other side to Hope. Talk about impossible! Her off-field behavior is almost impossible for her coaches and teammates to tolerate. She makes disastrous decisions—is no stranger to handcuffs and courtrooms. On the field she is talented and smart, the best. Off the field she’s a train wreck.
She’s that bad!
Hope Solo is impossible, and will never change some say.
Don’t be so sure.
What the press feeds us may be less than the full story. Scuttlebutt about misconduct is often long on rumor and short on facts.
Hope’s game-day self-discipline is five-star. There’s a good chance it will show up in other arenas of her life as well.
People that we’re certain will never change, sometimes do.
Every church has a few people in its pews that are a surprise to everyone—even their relatives.
Two of the most effective church elders I’ve ever worked with were off-the-rails bad boys well into their adult years. No one could have imagined them showing up in church, much less morphing into leaders.
Jesus told a tale about a farmer who strapped on his seed bag and started scattering the seed?
Some fell on a path that was hard as concrete—packed solid by sandals, hooves, and wheels. Seeing the seed on the surface, the birds chirped, “Lunch!” It pictures hearts that are hard as steel, cold as ice.
Some fell on soil that was shallow—a thin layer of dirt over a shelf of solid rock. The plants sprouted quickly, and withered just as quickly because they had no roots. It pictures hearts that enthusiastically receive the message, but have no hang-in-there grit. At the slightest difficulty or disappointment they’re AWOL.
Some fell among weeds. The plants grew, but so did the weeds—and the weeds won. It pictures hearts consumed by busy days of worry, work, and wealth. They have too many irons in the fire to get serious about God.
Some fell on good soil and produced a bumper crop—thirty, sixty, even a hundred times return.
Get this straight—God hasn’t appointed any of us to his Cabinet as Spiritual Soil Scientist. We aren’t qualified to be soil appraisers, rating this one yes, this one no, this one maybe. We may grade the soil hard, shallow, or worldly—but in another season it may be receptive, fertile, and productive.
“Ah, Sovereign Lord,” said Jeremiah, “you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jer. 32:17).
God must have liked that line, because moments later he adopted it: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jer. 32:27).
When Jesus spoke of the seeming impossibility of certain people entering the kingdom, his befuddled disciples asked, “Who then can be saved.”
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Lk. 18:27).
Write that sentence on your heart. It will come in handy when you have doubts about what God can do and who God can change.
Invite God into your impossibility.