(In)Humanly Possible

by APC on February 19, 2020

I am a very squeamish person. I can’t stand the sight of bandages let alone the sight of blood. If I’m in your presence and you a) cut yourself, b) go into labor, or c) have some kind of bodily malfunction, you’ll soon find yourself alone because I’ve either become unconscious or hightailed it out of there. I’m so queasy and anxious, I can’t even take care of myself when I’m hurt or have bandages to manage. It’s a real problem—trust me.

With my extreme aversion to such things, imagine my bewilderment when I read a story about Russian surgeon, Lenoid Rogozov. A solo doctor on a Soviet Antarctic expedition, he became deathly ill with appendicitis. The only way to save himself was to perform an operation on—you guessed it—himself, while he was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. He had to do what was considered inhumanly possible.

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27, KJV).

I’m pretty sure if I was presented with the ultimatum of performing surgery on myself or just calling it quits, I’d choose the latter. I’d be perfectly happy with seeing Jesus and enduring the short interval of pain leading up to that encounter. It’d be so easy to quit and give up because the former is just unfathomable in my mind. It’s impossible. Non-doable. Consider my squeamish meter—there’s no way.

My attitude toward a self-performed surgery is exactly the way most of us view challenges in this life. Knowing our own shortcomings and difficulties, we see trials and tribulations ahead of us and think, “There’s no way I can do this. I can’t get through it. God can’t come through in this situation. It’s impossible.” But, we forget what’s impossible for man is possible with God. What we can’t do on our own, God fills in the gap. What we don’t have the strength to do, God provides His.

All knowledge, ability, strength, power, etc. belong to God. It’s up to Him to dole it out as He sees fit and to activate it within us when we need it. For Rogozov, God helped him perform the impossible. He gave him the knowledge to use local anesthetic, administration and leadership skills to assign tasks to his contemporaries, and a spirit of encouragement to ensure that he (nor anyone else) didn’t pass out during the two-hour surgery (it’s a real good thing I wasn’t there).

There’s not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that God helped Rogozov perform the impossible. As a man, he couldn’t do it, but with God, he could. He was able to perform something inhuman, especially when there were others relying on him. You see, Rogozov was on an expedition to help build a base at the Schirmacher Oasis. If he died, no one would be there to help the inhabitants for a year, because that’s when the next ship was scheduled to arrive. There were souls counting on him. He didn’t have the option to quit and give up when a little appendicitis got in the way.

Our trials and tribulations are possible to endure with the Lord on our side. Furthermore, we must overcome them because there are lives at stake, and we might be their only hope. God has perfectly positioned us in this life to be the right witness to the right people. If we give up and throw in the towel because a little self-imposed surgery seems impossible, we’ve given up on reaching others as well. All of it is entirely possible. That is, possible with God.

I don’t want to discredit anything anyone is experiencing today, but I can’t remember the last time someone told me I had to perform surgery on myself. If Rogozov did it, we can do it. Why? We all serve the same God who can make the impossible possible in our lives today. It’s just surgery. It’s just an overdue bill. It’s just cancer. Look at your mountain, grab a hold of God’s hand, and take a step forward. Watch what’s inhumanly possible become humanly possible with God.