God has a big but. Hmmm. I know that sounds blasphemous and perhaps even juvenile. You may even say I should be stoned for heresy. But let me explain a little further. See if you can surf on my brainwaves.
First, let me say that I like big buts and I cannot lie. No, I am not referring to a Sir Mix-A-Lot song or YouTube video. I just like big buts. Big buts are what makes life exciting. Big buts are life-changing.
By now you may have noticed that the “but” to which I am referring only has one “t”. This is not a spellcheck blunder. It is quite purposeful. However, it is the big but of God (notice only one “t” before you pick up that stone) that is life-changing. Follow me.
Do you have a big job to do, a major project with lots of responsibility? Let’s face it. Life can be hard. Imagine planting a garden. You would have to till the soil, plant the seeds, water and fertilize regularly. This is hard work. But what if YOU have to MAKE the seeds grow? When Paul was writing to the Corinthians, he made reference to this topic. He said that I (Paul) have planted and Apollos watered BUT God gave the increase. He didn’t say that he planted, watered and then forced the seeds to grow.
Do you feel like the world is out to get you? King David, who had no shortage of enemies, definitely had some low points in his life. At one point he is quoted as saying “My flesh and my heart may fail, BUT God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. At his lowest points he knew that God had his back.
Are you an underdog but still feel like you have a calling? A higher purpose? Perhaps you need to bring God into the equation. Here is the advice that Paul gave, again to the church at Corinth. He said, “Consider your calling: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.” Ouch, Paul, thanks for calling the church members ignorant, impotent, and lowly. However, he finishes the thought with one of God’s biggest buts. “BUT God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”
Now let’s go even deeper. Even in the ultimate questions of life, the “but” of God prevails. It’s hard to argue that the ultimate question in life would be where we will spend eternity. In biblical terms, this is called being “saved” which simply means saved from living eternity without God and saved into the eternal presence of God. So here is the question… Who then can be saved? This was a question that was asked directly of Jesus himself. His answer might shock you. When asked who can be saved he said, “With men this is impossible.” Bummer, right? Ah, then came the punchline, the ultimate “but” of God. Jesus finished by saying, “BUT with God all things are possible.” God even provides our eternal relationship!
I will close with my favorite but of all. “BUT because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.” Whether you are overwhelmed with circumstances, feel like everyone is against you, feel outnumbered as the underdog, or just plain tired, isn’t it nice to know that the One that created us makes us alive in Christ.
These are some BIG BUTS, and I like them.