Sunday, January 3, 2021

Do What is Possible

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth to Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her. Firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping with her their flocks at night (Luke 2:4-8).

It is most often when we are doing what is possible that the impossible happens.

The marvelous, transformative new beginning we long for bursts into the commonplace, turning a stable into a sanctuary, a field into a tabernacle, and darkness into light.

Joseph was doing what was possible in the midst of an impossible situation. He was doing the next thing that was clear in the middle of a family crisis. In the honor-shame culture of the time, the choice Joseph made to obey the Lord and take pregnant Mary as his wife placed the burden of honor upon him. Her shame became his, his family’s, and his community’s. Everyone was watching him to see how he would bear this tremendous weight of responsibility. The journey to Bethlehem was likely a welcome escape from the pressure of disgrace he faced in Nazareth.

Mary was also doing what was possible. She was growing a baby. When the time came for her son to be born, we hear no record of complaint about the cold, the prickly, itchy hay, the hard ground, the lack of a specially-woven basket and joyfully embroidered clothing to welcome the little one into the world. I think Mary knew the secret to new beginnings. Do what’s possible; God will do what’s impossible. She learned it the very day the angel Gabriel appeared and proclaimed that her life was about to change forever:

The angel answered, “…For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:35, 37-38).

Mary accepted her role from the beginning. She would do what was possible and trust the Lord with what she could not possibly do herself.

Even the shepherds were simply doing what they always did. They were performing the mundane duties of sheep-herders, watching over their flocks in the surrounding hills of Bethlehem. The impossible burst into their common life, flooding the darkness with light and the silence with singing. Life would never again be the same for them.

The Gregorian calendar, the calendar most widely used in the world today, places the New Year one week after Christmas Day. But we who follow the Messiah born on Christmas do not have to wait a week for our new beginning. Our new beginning starts the moment we, like Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, place our trust in the God of the Impossible.

As a writer, I wonder, what is possible for me right now as I stare down another new year? What duty is clear to me? 

I will take intentional time this week to seek the Lord’s answer about this. Then I will set to doing it with all my heart.

You and I, writer, serve the Lord by stewarding words. They have the power of life and death. Words can build, and they can destroy. They can bring hope, and they can crush. What might the God of the Impossible do through us this year if we fully yield this exquisite power to Him? What stands in our way?

Let us each do what is possible and trust the Lord to work in the world around us and through us. He who is the New Beginning has already come. He will illuminate the darkness and transform silence into singing. This is the God we trust; this is the Lord for whom nothing is impossible.

Lord, I am Your servant. May it be to me as you have said, for nothing is impossible with You. Amen.


Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Audrey is the author of Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World (Harvest House Publishers), an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available at favorite booksellers: BARNES & NOBLE , BOOKS A MILLION, AMAZON.

You can also find Audrey at WWW.AUDREYFRANK.ORG, as well as on TWITTER and FACEBOOK


  1. Thank you for your words this morning. I learn so much from your blogs and the blogs of others on The Write Conversation. I appreciate all of you. A Blessed New Year to all of you!

  2. Poignant, powerful, and inspiring! Thank you for this timely article, Audrey.