Do I have your attention? When I say to get your “but” in order, I’m not talking about prying my lazy book-reading carcass off the couch and heading to the gym. (Although this time of year, that might be a good idea too!) The “but” I’m talking about is a mental shift. An attitude adjustment that will make all the difference in your faith walk this year.
Let’s see if I’m the only one who has ever said something like this. “Dear God, I know that You are faithful and loving and own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know You are good and merciful and can provide all that I need, but I can’t see past the pile of bills that’s keeping me up at night. I’d be willing to work more except my health isn’t the greatest and my schedule is tight since I take care of the kids and…”
God is ______, BUT I’ve got a problem. (And another problem and another.)
What if we changed the order of that sentence?
Try this instead. “God, I’ve got a pile of bills that’s keeping me up at night and I can’t see how to solve the problem given my health and childcare issues, BUT I know that You are more than able to provide for our family’s needs. I know You can supply wisdom and open doors. I know that You are good and excel at giving clean slates and second chances to those who rely on Your grace and mercy.”
I have a problem (or ten), BUT God is ________.
The reversed order in this sentence takes the focus off of myself and onto who God is. It puts the focus on God’s power instead of my problems.
And it echoes the cry of the Psalmist. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is my strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
Life happens. Tears get shed. Hearts get broken, but God restores.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
Making the decision to get your “but” in order this year might be semantics, but I believe the you’ll feel the difference. What do you think? How would you reword your current prayers to get your “but” in order?