“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
Big things really do come in small packages. This is so true when it comes to words. Some of the most important, powerful, life-changing words are some of the smallest words in the English language. One of those words is the tiny word, “but.” Think about how that one word can change an entire life and an entire perspective in a moment. “Yes, your daughter was in a terrible automobile accident, but she is all right.” Or, “Yes, there is a spot on your lung, but it is just scar tissue.”
That little phrase, “Yes, but…” is a classic way of agreeing, and yet not agreeing. That little word “but” effectively says that what has been said sounds true, but it is not completely true or at least finally true. Whatever falls on the backend reveals the real truth. Look at these examples:
Most of us can relate to at least one of these sentences. Because of God, however, the sentence is not finished until you read what comes behind the little word, “but.”
The Bible never teaches that all things are good. Kidnapping, racism, cheating, lying, divorce, and murder are all bad things. There are a lot of bad things that will go into the puzzle of our lives; but when the puzzle is completed it won’t spell “bad” – it will spell “good.”
If you have trouble believing this truth, look to the greatest example of all time – the cross of Jesus Christ. When the human race was doing its worst to the Son of God on the cross, God was doing His best for the human race. What we intended for evil God intended for good. Could anyone who stood there watching that horrific scene ever have imagined the purpose God was accomplishing through such evil and injustice? Could Mary have fathomed that the death of her son would give her eternal life? We won’t always understand in the moment all that God is doing, but that does not mean that we should not trust Him in all things.
A Jewish rabbi sent a telegram to Albert Einstein one time to ask him if he believed in God. This is how Einstein replied: “I believe in a God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fates and actions of human beings.” Well, Mr. Einstein, that is not the God of the Bible. The One True God is intimately involved and completely in control of the fates and actions of every human being.
Dear Father, thank you for the gift of the word "but." How grateful I am that you have used this word throughout Scripture and throughout the lives of your children to prove your power, your love, and your sovereignty. Help me to remember that nothing is outside of your control or your influence. Amen.