faith · life

the big but

But,  people. Not butt. Don’t you be thinking junk in the trunk. *insert finger wag*

Seriously, though…

I am so guilty of limiting God.  Underestimating His love, His care, His promises.

I know He can…but…will He…?

:: I know He promises that he will provide for my needs…but…

Sometimes I get caught up in the here and now and worry about bills, lack of income, the               future and how our needs can possibly be met.  He has proven Himself faithful in all things over and over…and yet, sometimes, I doubt, I worry. Especially now, with our support coming from many places, much of which is not ‘guaranteed’ from month to month.  Yet, when the car needs repairs, our teeth need fixing, when the bills come in, it’s taken care of.  More than that…He often meets our needs abundantly!

Even when times were hard, pay checks were spread thin and the kids’ winter boots came out of the grocery money, we never froze in the winter or lacked food in our bellies.  Our clothes may have all been second-hand, but we were never naked.  We had all that we required.

I know that this makes me sound quite ‘first world’, but remember: He meets our needs…not our wants.  He meets our needs as He sees them.  Perhaps what I actually need is a lesson in compassion or contentment.  He knows how to use us for His glory in every circumstance.  I am not only told to leave my concerns with Him, but I am to put Him first every day.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  ~Matthew 6:31-34 

:: I know He works everything together for good…but…

This does not mean that my life as a Christian will forever be sunshine and rainbows, but that each hard thing has a beautiful ending.  Not always my beautiful ending (at least as I would envision it), but someone’s.  By this I mean, that the trials in my life may indeed make me more like Jesus and let me know Him more intimately, but there may be a blessing–a happy ending–in it for another person.  This could take any number of forms.  My trials may help me to have a special understanding for someone else’s situation, equip me to comfort them in a way that I could not have before, enable me to assist them in a practical way.  It could mean that my detours and bumpy roads become ‘divine appointments’ that materialize because of a long line of (perhaps difficult-for-me) circumstances that may contribute to a life-changing event for someone along that detour.  Similar to the thought that while He knows my needs, He meets them as He sees fit; He also knows what situations will work out His best plans for me.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  ~Romans 8:28

:: I know I am saved…but…

Sometimes, I just feel unlovely.  Not only in a physical sense, but in a spiritual and internal way that may not be evident to others.  This is one of the devil’s greatest lies, is it not?  He loves to make me forget who I am in Christ.  That is not to say that a little introspection is  not a good thing, but I must not dwell there, becoming immobilized.  When I became Christ’s, it was sealed.  When God looks at me, He doesn’t see who I used to be, He doesn’t see my sins, He sees the precious blood of His Son that has washed me clean.  Praise the Lord!

Several of my children, at different times, have come to me, clearly upset.  Each one knew they had given their heart to Jesus, but didn’t always feel saved.  They knew they still did wrong things and worried that perhaps they weren’t truly saved.  As my Northern boy said once, “I just don’t know for sure.  I can’t take the chance.”  We should have changes that are evident in our lives and we should evaluate the life we are living to see that it is honouring to God. Thankfully, however, it’s ultimately not about how we feel, or even how we do at any given moment, but about a God who keeps His promises.

…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. ~2 Timothy 1:12

I committed my life to Him and He will safeguard it for eternity.  That is security.

:: I know God is good…but…

This old world is full of evil.  This question that torments many: “How can a good God allow such atrocities?”  Again, Satan loves to twist things around to suit his purposes.  God did not create sin.  We’re told sin came into the world by one man, Adam, as he chose to disobey God.  He was given much freedom. He was given clear direction.  Yet, the devil (who also fell because he wanted to be as God), in the form of a serpent, encouraged selfishness and pride, coaxed Adam to want more.  (Read Genesis 2, 3)

Sin entered the world then as a consequence to Adam’s disobedience and it is alive and well today.  This world is full of sinful people.  Sinful people who do very bad things.  Vile things.  Shocking things.  Sinful people choose to act out their sinfulness.  Bringing sadness and brokenness and despair.  Anger and bitterness. Vengefulness.  All manner of wickedness and the circle continues.

This does not bring happiness to God.  He sees the abominable ways of people–how it must break His heart–and He offers hope.  He offers His transformative power.  He offers the nail scarred hands of His Son to reach out in love to our messy world.  But many turn their backs.  They mock.  They deny His presence, yet (ironically) blame the woes of the world on Him.

No, God did not create sin.  He created mankind with the ability to make choices–good or bad.  He created a way to bridge the chasm that sin creates.  He offers hope.  He will bring us a new heaven and new earth one day and there will be no more sin.  There will be no more tears.  God is good.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  ~Romans 5:19 

:: I know He keeps His promises…but…

:: I know I’m supposed to trust God…but…

:: I know He sees my pain…but…

:: I know He says He’ll lead me…but…

:: I know He hears my cries…but…

:: I know He is my strength…but…

Each day, I’m sure I add a ‘big but’ where there should be none.  Each day I’m sure I wonder how He will fulfill His promises to me.  Each day I am surprised at His goodness to me.  His faithfulness to me.  No, I need not wonder…it’s never ‘if’ with Him.  It is simply ‘when’.

romans-8-28

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