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.