“Sure, I’d love to go out with you, but…”
“I’d like to help you with your dilemma, but…”
“You are qualified for the job opening, but…”
“I know I need to lose weight, Doc, but…”
It seems like there’s always a “but.” When something good is about to happen, someone has to go throw in a caveat. As imperfect humans, we are often full of stipulations, conditions, and restrictions. I noticed recently that this way of thinking has woven it’s way into my prayer time. BUT, there’s not supposed to be a “but.”
Food For Thought
Sure, I can talk a good faith. I do have faith. I do believe. I do trust. Most of the time. It seems I have this habit of adding a “but” to the end of my conversations with God, either verbally or in thought.
I believe in the power of prayer and I pray a lot. Yet I will continue to worry and be anxious after the final “Amen.” Do you know what this says to God? “I trust You, Lord, but…only if Your answer seems logical/easy/convenient/quick.”
Does this sound familiar? How many times have you prayed for something, but rather than be patient, you rushed into making things happen outside of God’s timeline or blessing? I know I prayed for Your wisdom, God, but I don’t want to wait. Or, God has spoken through scripture or Bible study, urging you to cast aside a sinful behavior. I know what the Bible says, God, but is this really that big of a deal? (By the way, yes, sin is sin. They are not weighted by merit.)
Well, I can say my life has been reflecting some of these “But…” statements. I’ve even caught myself making this comment during my prayer time. I’ve probably even done it without being consciously aware. Last week, however, I took complete notice of my prayer request that had an added “but” to it. I was trying to manipulate God! Not one of my finest moments, indeed, but it gave me a lot to think about and study.
When I’m praying, when I’m declaring my faith, when I’m stating my beliefs, when I’m sharing words of praise with the Father, THERE’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A BUT. That’s it. My statements are final. Period. No caveats or stipulations. No manipulations or hesitations. If I pray, I believe God will answer. If I walk in faith, I cannot doubt (yep, that’s a hard one, for sure!). If I say I believe, then I must believe in every circumstance. If God is good now, He is always good.
As I am working on my word-of-the-year, trust, this has been a good opportunity to kick the but’s. To trust is to have “a firm belief in the reliability, trust, ability, and strength of someone or something.” There is no other I can depend on like God. Trusting God is the finale…there is no more to add to the statement.
Today’s Scripture Reading
Today’s scripture readings are passages that focus on trusting God and letting Him be in control of our lives. This is not an easy thing for many Christians, including myself. A good exercise in releasing control to God is removing the “buts” from my conversations with Him.
Today’s Bible Journaling Pages
The past 48 hours have held some anxious moments for me, my family, and our community. It has been one of the biggest tests of my TRUST I can ever remember. I’ve had some tough conversations and made some tough decisions. I also spent time in prayer, alone and with my family, and I’ve spent time in God’s word. I found comfort in the following pages. May they also encourage and inspire you when you need it most.