Against all odds

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Genesis 21:5-7 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Each of us started life as a roughly one in five hundred million shot at existing. That’s the very long shot an individual sperm has of fertilizing a human egg. That means your odds of winning a Powerball drawing are about 70 percent greater than your odds were of becoming a human being.

The difference between Powerball and our conception, of course, is that one is ordained by God (it’s the conception – sorry). We were divinely chosen to be who are, and no odds against it could prevent God’s chosen outcome. Each of us began this life as a miracle – as the most unlikely of outcomes made not only likely, but certain, through our complete oneness with God.

That capacity for God to produce the miraculous in and through us doesn’t go away. But, as we grow physically and mentally we often diminish in our spiritual connection to our eternal source. We lose touch with the perfect ordering of the universe – the order that selected us from 500 million possible alternatives. Our ego grows with us, and we begin to tell God what is possible, and what is not.

The root of this passage is four chapters earlier, when Abraham laughs at God for promising him a child in his and Sarah’s old age. Abraham tried to tell God what was possible. But God fulfilled the promise and gave Abraham and Sarah a son, Isaac.

In that fulfillment of promise God not only gave them a son. God gave us all a powerful reminder that when we stop putting stock in our ego, and instead submit to faith in the Almighty, there is no limit to what is possible. Even the steepest of odds is no match for our selfless unity with God, and God’s eternal desire to live in and through us.

Lord, help us today to let go of the human constraints we place on your will. Let us surrender to faith and love in you, and open our lives to the fulfillment of your Word. Amen.

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