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But God…

Have you ever had a moment where you felt that you just couldn’t figure life out? Like, you’ve gone through all the options in your head and you’re just at a loss. Those moments can be frustrating and overwhelming when viewed through our tiny perspective. I’m a planner… a list maker… a doer. How often have I fretted over a future I couldn’t arrange? How many times have I tried to rip my hopes and dreams from the Lord’s hands because He was on a different schedule than I planned? How often have I cried out because I’ve felt stuck in a rut and absolutely hopeless? A lot… the answer is a lot!

Luckily, the human plight of uncertainty is not a new condition and we see tons of moments in the Bible when men and women of faith struggle with the same. Even the faithful can feel unsure... Noah stuck in the Ark surrounded by endless water. Joseph in prison after being sold into slavery. David on the run from Saul. The disciples locked in a room after watching their hope die on a cross. All moments, that from a human perspective, are hopeless, impossible and without a choice. I don’t mean to say that they lost their faith in God but I can’t imagine that these people didn't think, “I know you’re faithful but I just don’t understand” at some moment in their journeys. However, the older I get the more I appreciate a little two word phrase that seems to always appear in these moments of not being able to figure it out… “But God…” When I was younger I didn’t truly appreciate the power of that statement but as an adult who has seen the faithfulness of God both, biblically and personally, “But God” is a powerhouse statement!

See, we so often forget in these great moments of biblical history that the characters didn’t have the gift of hindsight that we so often take for granted when reading through. WE know how the stories end but THEY didn’t. So, imagine…

Noah built this ark because he was instructed to do so. He gathered up two of every animal and figured out a storage situation. He rode out an intense and overwhelming storm for over a month. If the quarantine taught us anything, it’s that being trapped with your family for more than a few days with no escape is not ideal and the earth was flooded for five months. Add in some pretty interesting and newly acquired pets and I can only imagine what poor Noah was thinking. If I were him, I’d have been trying to think of every possible outcome. What kind of timeline seemed logical? Was the waterline changing? Was it lower than yesterday? The food stash is getting low. Are we going to have to eat one of our four legged roommates? Are they going to eat us? Has God forgotten me? Does He even hear me? But God..

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” (Genesis 8:1)

Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. Worked hard only to have the rug pulled out from under him which led him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He then sat in prison for upwards of a decade seemingly forgotten by all. He once again rises in rank only to have a famine hit and then he is faced with the very family who sold him decades earlier. Now, challenged with revealing the truth to his family, what could he possibly say? But God…

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20)

David having to leave his home, family and best friend because he was being pursued by that friend’s father who was also his own father-in-law and former boss. Can you imagine being anointed as the future king only to spend the next few years on the run for your very life? Crying out to God while things get worse and worse. Had he been forgotten? Did God change His mind? Maybe the whole thing was a big practical joke? How could he possibly survive? But God…

“David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.” (1 Samuel 23:14)

The disciples in the garden angry as soldiers approach with one of their own. The disciples scattering and hiding throughout the city that Friday night. The disciples locked in an upper room together, filled with broken dreams and utter despair. But God…

“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:24)

And me, being incredibly broken and thoroughly lost in this fallen world with no capable way of being enough myself. Me trying to do enough and be enough but always falling short of the requirements. Me full of uncertainty about the future, my hopes and my dreams. But God…

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have be saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”

(Ephesians 2: 4-6)

See, if God can take care of the eternal struggles and needs in my life, surely I can trust Him to handle the temporal issues as well. Just as He did the unexplainable and amazing in the lives of this biblical cast, He does the same for us. His answer may not always look the way we want or come when we think we need it but we can rest in the assurance that we are not forgotten or ignored and we don’t have to understand to know the Father is faithful. After all, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)


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