How often do we long for change when life’s circumstances are hard? We imagine a scenario where everything is easier or more exciting. Then, when the chance arrives, we are suddenly nervous or even frightened by its arrival. Transitions are always a little nerve-wracking because even if we don’t like where we’ve been, it is comfortable because we know it well. Going into the unknown is as frightening as it is exciting.

I have been hoping for a change in my “career,” if you can call it that. I’ve been doing the same things for a long time, but I really long to do something else. The something else sounds great until I start trying to do it, and then it seems hard, and I wonder if I even have the ability to do it. I second guess my dream and contemplate falling back on the tried and true, even if it makes me miserable, because it seems safe.

God has a way of ripping the rug out from under us to force use to move. It’s for our own good because we stubbornly stand staring at a path before us but unwilling to step forward, so He has to give us a little shove in the right direction. Sometimes He just blocks all of the other paths so that we only really have the one direction or we have to stand still. If we want something new, then we have to do something new. The first few steps are the hardest because I find myself looking over my shoulder to see if I can still see the way back to where I was. Eventually, we have to start marching forward and see where the path will take us because wherever we go, God is there. We can never leave him behind or go beyond His love and protection. As a matter of fact, He goes before us and makes ready the path. We need only follow in faith and quit looking behind.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.” Psalm 139:7-10


When you hear good news, do you often find yourself waiting for the “but” to follow? I got an interview for a job, but I doubt I’ll get it. I think you are really cute, but I am interested in someone else. I lost 5 pounds, but it will probably come back next week.

How often do we look for the “but” in God’s promises, waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak? God loves me, but….. With God’s promises there are no “buts”. There may sometimes be requirements and consequences, but the promise is secure. The key is faith.

When the 12 spies surveyed the land, they all came back with glowing reports of the land as fertile and expansive, but…:

27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.”

Notice the word “nevertheless” in verse 28. It’s just a fancy word for “but.” They tell Moses that they went to the land where God had sent them and it looked great, but…. Ten of the twelve spies saw only the problems. They had seen God work miracles in Egypt and in the desert, but all they could see were insurmountable obstacles.

On the other hand, Caleb (and Joshua) saw a challenge:

“30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”

Caleb saw “and” instead of “but”. He saw a challenge and a God that could overcome anything.

I have caught myself using the wrong word a lot lately. I want to change those “buts” to “ands”. I have challenges, and I have a God who can help me through them or remove them. Either way it is a done deal, not a possibility. God is able and willing. I just have to place my faith in Him and remember what he has already brought me through. Then, I will overcome the challenges set before me.

And…not but!