She wasn’t sure she could take another day of the stench….the cramped quarters…all the sweat from so many women, all strangers, literally piled on top of each other for one more day. She would close her eyes and wish herself dead. “Just get it over with already.”
Immaculee Ilibagiza spent 91 days hiding from soldiers involved with the massive Rhwandan genocide of 1994. During that time, she endured nearly 24 hours a day in a bathroom that measured 36 inches by 48 inches. That’s right. Three feet by four feet. You can walk it out with your feet to get an idea of what Immaculee’s “home” was like. But she was not alone. She shared that space with SEVEN other women during that time…..hidden…. from the mass slaughter that wiped out nearly 1 million Tutsi tribe members… including her mother, father, brother and grandparents.
It sure is hard to imagine Immaculee’s situation, isn’t it? I’ll admit that while I listened to her tell her story yesterday at the Global Leadership Summit hosted by Willow Creek. I was riveted to my seat and sick to my stomach but I really couldn’t grasp the depths of what must have felt like hell on earth during that experience. I haven’t been hunted down for my ancestry. My parents and siblings are still alive. I’ve lived in some pretty dumpy apartments right out of college, but I can’t hold a flame next to that situation.
But I HAVE felt the despair of the impossible.
Looking at a situation that seems impossible is simply an outward display of the heart. And it’s a position we take when we think it’s our responsibility to fix the situation….alone.
We are forgetting that God takes DELIGHT in impossibilities. Delight? Really?
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The day finally came when the soldiers searched the house where Immaculee and 7 other women were hiding. They formed a perimeter “wall” of armed men around the home and began searching the rooms one, by one. They went onto the roof and into the attic. They even opened up suitcases, looking for Tutsi tribe members; their orders were to execute every man, woman and child.
It was at that moment that Immaculee whispered in her heart, “God, if you are real, I beg that you save us and give me a sign so that I know without a doubt, it is you.”
She could see the doorknob turning. She heard a soldier say to the Pastor who was hiding them, “You are a good man Pastor.” And they left the house….without opening the bathroom door.
I don’t know what you are going through that can be looming in the “impossible” category. I’m comforted by knowing most of you aren’t facing anything as horrific as Immaculee’s situation. Maybe it’s a financial crisis. Maybe it’s a marriage or a child’s poor choices and you are looking at that situation with the eyes of “I have no idea how we can come back from this situation.”
Call on Him. He DELIGHTS in it. He wants to help you get out of the impossible. It’s one of the many ways he woos us closer to Himself; He’s the Father who is the ONLY one able to pull off the impossible. YOU are His beloved Son or Daughter and He is your rescuer.
We don’t get to choose how He does it, whom He uses or what the final outcome looks like but we can know this; He loves you without limitation….His ways are SO MUCH higher than our ways and if you ask Him, He’ll ALWAYS work it out for your good.
He’s the God of the impossible.
If you would like to read more about Immaculee’s story which is now a New York Times Best seller, visit her website.