I was recently reading about a guy called George Dantzig who’s work in mathematics and statistics have shaped the way in which airlines schedule their planes and crew, shipping companies deploy their vehicles, oil companies run refineries, manufacturing, revenue management, telecommunications, advertising, architecture, circuit design and countless other areas. His legacy is felt far and wide and affects us much more than we realise, however the start of his genius can be traced back to one singular moment.
In 1939 as a student at the University of California, George was studying statistics under Professor Jerzy Neyman. Arriving into class late one day meant that George missed the disclaimer that the 2 problems written up on the board were in fact unsolvable problems and he believed them to be the class homework. George scribbled them down in his book and went to work.
Although it took longer than normal homework and seemed a little harder George ultimately solved 2 of statistics unsolvable problems. In his own words “If someone told me they were two famous unsolved problems, I probably wouldn’t have even tried to solve them.”
Sometimes we make far too many assumptions as to what is and what isn’t possible. George solved those problems because he didn’t know it couldn’t be done.
Jesus said in Matthew 19:26 “with God all things are possible.” And to just reinforce and make sure we don’t miss the point he inverts it in Luke 1:37 (ESV) “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
I think that when we look at a problem we let our logical assumptions triumph over our theological beliefs and we have our reality defined by human assumptions rather than a divine revelation of scripture. We often forget the simple truth: Jesus can make your impossible possible!
If we let our theological beliefs triumph over our logical assumptions we will reach only one assumption:
God is able.
That should be our only assumption every other assumption is false. He is the God who can and does make the impossible possible.
I genuinely believe that if we want God to do a new thing, we can’t keep doing the same old thing and expect a different result. We need to unlearn every assumption that we have made, except for one.
God is able.