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All Things are Possible

One of my favorite church activities is being assigned a “Secret Sister” for the year.

Around Christmas, our women’s group has a party, and each of us receives a Secret Sister. We learn all about her interests and hobbies, birthday, favorite foods, and so forth.

This year, my Secret Sister wrote on her form that she loves butterflies. While I’ve never been a butterfly gal myself, I can appreciate why others are. So I set about finding some items for her. I didn’t realize there was a glut of butterfly merchandise these days. I bought a few items that didn’t look as though they should adorn a 10-year-old girl’s bedroom (my Secret Sister is fifty-six) and took them home to begin my Secret Sister stash.

One of the items was a box of notecards with a few butterflies, a cross, and Matthew 19:26: “With God all things are possible.” I flipped the box over to begin the arduous process of removing the price tag, picking the corner with my fingernail to make sure the industrial-strength adhesive came off with the tag, instead of forming a sticky, filthy mess. I happened to glance at the bottom of the box. Tucked between a fleur-de-leis and another flourish were the words in purple, cursive letters: “Made in China.”

At first I didn’t think anything of it. After all, how much of our merchandise isn’t made in China these days? However, as I snorted and rolled my eyes, a realization swept through my cynical mind.


In between grading and trying not to have a nervous breakdown due to over-commitment, I’ve been meandering through a book called The Jesus of Suburbia. Being a Christian, living in suburbia (believe me, I never thought I’d be a suburban housewife, but here I am), and attending a suburban church, the title caught my eye, as did the retro cover of cookie-cutter homes in shades of mustard yellow and burnt orange. So did this statement on the back of the book: “The Jesus of Suburbia paints a disturbing picture of an imitation Jesus many have been taught to worship, one that little resembles the revolutionary, life-transforming Jesus of Nazareth.”

Although the title and premise of the book intrigued me, part of me wanted to put it back on the shelf. The part that likes comfortable, safe, predictable Christianity, and the God that comes with it. But the part of me that has always yearned to know what it’s like to be a true follower of Christ overruled that part.

What does it mean to be a true follower of Christ? I confess that I can’t answer that question. But I do feel that having the desire to answer that question is a vital part of my faith and its development.


As I held the box of notecards in my hand, I thought about the hands of the Chinese worker who had prepared them to be shipped to the US. If she could read English, did she ponder the words? Did she wonder who or what “God” is? As she laid in bed that night, a ray of moonlight cutting across her blanketed torso, did the words resound in her head, with a whisper of longing to understand them?

I thought about the quote on the cards. Do I really think that all things are possible with God? Do I believe that, if I give up everything for God—my comfortable suburban home, my white-collar office job, my supermarkets, my comfy sedan, or (heaven forbid) my laptop and Internet, that He will provide all of my needs, and I will be more fulfilled than ever before?

No, I don’t believe it. But I want to.

5 responses to “All Things are Possible”

  1. Will Will says:

    Thanks for sharing. I think lots of us go through a similar process when thinking about Christmas. Today's holiday is hardly what Christ is all about.

    • acb123 acb123 says:

      Hey, Will! Thanks for commenting. I know that I seem to get more into that frame of mind around Christmas every year. If you read my post in December, I was talking about the same sort of idea–that even Christians struggle to hold back the overwhelming tide of consumerism.

  2. Avatar Karen says:

    I think the part a lot of people miss is that we still have to work at it. Yes, He will meet our needs, but he doesn't just give us everything without requiring anything in return. We have to give him our will, our desires, our time, whatever he asks of us. Then, and only then, are we prepared to receive all the gifts and blessings he has in store.

    • acb123 acb123 says:

      I know some proponents of what is commonly referred to as the "prosperity gospel," where people think that if they turn their lives over to Christ, suddenly all of their troubles and worries will magically disappear. And I know many people who bought into this philosophy and fell away, becoming disillusioned with God at the first sign of difficulty.
      The idea of Christians having easy-breezy lives is completely contrary to Scripture. In John 16:33 Jesus said, "In this world, you will have trouble." Not, "It's possible you will have trouble," or "You might have trouble, but "you WILL have trouble" [emphasis added].
      But thank God for the next verse, where Jesus said, "But take heart! I have overcome the world."
      I appreciate your comments, and thank you for taking the time to read. :0)

      • Avatar Believer says:

        Isaiah 43:2 says "when," not "if." Meaning in life is not found in the fleeting pleasures which consistently leave us wanting more while we remain unfulfilled–meaning is found in our sufferings and the refining fire which strengthens our convictions. For if, when we fear God has abandoned us, we hold to His Truth and renounce this fear, "God shall help her, just at the break of dawn."

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acbauch123 About acbauch123

Amanda C. Bauch, writer, editor, and teacher, has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University and is currently working on a young adult novel and a memoir. In her “free” time, she works as a freelance dissertation editor and formerly served as Assistant Editor for Relief: A Christian Literary Expression. Her short fiction has appeared in Tattoo Highway, Bent Pin Quarterly, The Hiss Quarterly, and nonfiction pieces have been published in Writer Advice, Empowerment4Women, as well as two print anthologies, Tainted Mirror and MOTIF: Writing By Ear. She also won an honorable mention in the 2007 Writers’ Workshop of Asheville Memoir Contest and second place in the 2006 Lantern Books Essay Contest. Her viewpoint often derives from her dysfunctional family history, relationships, Christianity and spiritual issues, and random nonsense.

Read more by this author on 30POV .


December 2010
November 2010
On My Honor
October 2010
Witch Hunt
September 2010
If, Then.
May 2010
Small Crimes
April 2010
February 2010
"It's Complicated"
January 2010