When God Does the Impossible, Faith Turns the Corner

When Jesus miraculously fed the 5,000 (men, plus women and children) as recorded in Matthew 14, His closest followers had not believed it was possible. Paraphrasing, His disciples said, “We’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s getting late. Make everybody go home so they can fend for themselves.” But Jesus had a completely different idea, and He told them something unthinkable, inconceivable even.

“They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

What?! The audacity of the Master, they must have thought! “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” Isn’t it amazing how quickly we all give excuses when God tells us to do something, especially something hard? Or seemingly impossible?

So Jesus did what He always did. He proved He was God incarnate. “Bring them here to me,” He said. Then He organized everybody, took the little boy’s lunch, prayed, and the miracle of The Feeding of the Five Thousand occurred.

And if that wasn’t enough, Jesus made sure there were leftovers. Leftovers. In fact, after the disciples picked up all of the broken pieces that were left over, there were precisely 12 basketsful of leftovers. Hmmm… let’s see. Twelve disciples. Twelve baskets full of leftovers. Yep, one basket for each disciple. Can you see the Master Teacher smiling? Can you hear the disciples’ thoughts? Even though they didn’t think it had been possible, now what must they have been thinking?

With every piece of bread they picked up: “All things are possible with God. All things are possible with God. All things are possible with God…” After the miracle, their faith turned a corner.

You know, sometimes we do the same thing that the disciples did. Not necessarily about food or such things, but with everyday thinking. For example, have you ever thought or heard someone say, “Oh, kids can’t do this” or “Kids can’t do that” or “That’s way beyond what they are capable of doing?”

I have. A lot. Especially over the course of 34 years as an educator, both public and private. People shortchange kids. I even remember hearing that as a young student a long time ago.

But you know what? Jesus has audacious thoughts about our kids. He has created them in His image. And He made them to create and innovate and break barriers, regardless of what others say.

At my previous school, I watched this happen. Many people, including engineers who know a thing or two, said high school students could not create experiments from scratch and get them to the International Space Station. Five orbital experiments and over 16 million miles in space travel later, I watched 23 of my high school students prove the entire world wrong.

And I’m here to tell you our kids—our students right here at ALCS—are about to do the same thing. There are still pundits out there who say middle schoolers can’t do this, can’t do what they’re about to do, can’t do this because it’s beyond their age level. I’ve heard it, and colleagues of mine at other schools have heard it.

But guess what? Our kids, our ALCS kids, have learned and labored and thought deeply about and struggled and fashioned a team to create an experiment. And this spring, God willing, that middle schooler-crafted experiment thought to be impossible by some will be carried aloft by 1.8 million pounds of thrust blasting forth from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and make its way to the ISS, where it will control robots. In space. Our middle schoolers. Who a year ago knew very little or nothing about how to do this.

What?! The audacity! How absurdly ambitious, as Elon Musk would say!

Yep. You betcha.

And our kids, our ALCS boys and girls, our young men and young women, our SpaceEagles? They’re just going to keep on climbing. Because that’s how God designed our kids.

And because space is a really big place.

Keep believing in our kids, in the One who created them to do the impossible, and we’ll see you around campus!

Dr. Vance Nichols
Head of School
Alta Loma Christian School

Dr. Nichols (BS, MS, EdD) also serves as Commissioner and Chair of the ACSI Southern California Regional Accreditation Commission, and was an educational researcher, organizational leadership theorist, and 2015 Innovation Scholar at the University of Southern California. His most recent published research may be accessed online at: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll40/id/294584/rec/82