Friday, May 6, 2011


I have been blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law. Through the years we have had glorious times laughing with and at each other. Like the time we decided to perm each other’s hair and instead of adding relaxer in the final step, my mother-in-law put more permanent solution in my hair. True story. Ridiculous hair, but really good times.

Known as Deedah to our family, she has always been great about allowing us to tease her. One of our favorite things to tease her about was giving advice to us. You always knew when you were going to get advice from Deedah. She would preference her words by saying, “Now I don’t want to be bossy but . . . . “ These words would always be followed by ideas about which she totally wanted to be bossy – or at least heard.

Sometimes, God says “but” when talking to his children also. However, when God says “but,” it tends to have totally different implications than giving advice.

"I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on the earth will perish.
But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark-you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you."
Genesis 6:17-18 (NIV)

God is talking to Noah about building the ark in this passage. He is warning Noah that everything on the earth will perish. But, in the midst of this everything proclamation, God lets Noah know what he is willing to do for him and his family.

Many of us, like my Deedah, tend to use “but” to say we did not really mean what we said in the first place. When God says “but,” it tends to be His deliverance of a totally new option. God tends to deal with us in His ability to reverse our situation. You deserve _____________ or you could be experiencing _______________, “but,” says God. Suddenly a situation that seemed poised to be a negative for us is changed. Because of His grace, His totally unmerited favor in our lives, God steps in and takes what was meant to be a negative and turns it into a positive.

Today, I want to remember and think about the times God has said “but” in my life. Times when the world or my circumstances pointed to a negative, or maybe even horrific, outcome, but God stepped in to deliver another option. I want to tune my ears to hear what He has to say when it appears that things in my life are going downhill. How about you? Does God have a “but” coming just around the corner that you need to hear? Why not ask Him today?