Have you ever considered how HUGE a difference between;
“…, but God.” and “God, but…”
How similar are the words, yet how incredible different are the phrases?
If you have been following my blog, you know I wrote a post in February titled “…, but God”. (if interested: https://ashleegvickers.com/2016/02/08/but-god-2/) In that previous post, I explored how even in the middle of very trying times, God is still on the throne and working in a sovereign way on our behalf. Complete rest and comfort can be found in Him. Even in the middle of the worst of the world, but God!
Fast forward. As I have been dealing with some less life altering events in my own personal world this past week, I admittedly pouted a bit and was not mentally honoring God with my thoughts. I sincerely feel I have been wronged, a tremendous amount of heart and soul was overlooked and the full face slap of “life’s not fair” hit me. (Because didn’t we all get the “Life is going to be fair card”?) I know you can all find that one thing or circumstance – think about that one for you and go with me here. I promise we won’t camp here long. It is not a happy place (or healthy or God honoring). If you can’t find that thing or that memory that made you stamp your feet in a full on “God, but…” temper tantrum, please be my friend. I need you and your spiritual maturity in my life. I honestly desire to be more like you.
Unfortunately, I find myself being a spiritual baby and it is with full confession I come openly putting the raw dirtiness of my flesh on the table. The same person that wrote the February blog post about how an awesome God showed up in the middle of my heartache, was pouting in March. I switched from “… but, God.” to “God, but…” pretty quickly.
I know you said we would have troubles God [John 16:33], but I don’t want to face any more trials. I’m just tired.
Nothing is too hard for you God [Jeremiah 32:27], but it’s hard for me.
You say Love them as I love myself God [Mark 12:31], but they aren’t being lovable to me.
I know I have seriously TONs to be thankful for God, but I wanted THIS. (oh really!?)
Think about what your “God, but…” might look like?
I know you are calling me to ministry God, but I am comfortable here.
I’d love to do ___ for you God, but I’m scared I’ll be embarrassed.
I want to serve you God, but I am so busy with my life.
I know I haven’t surrendered my life to you God, but I have plenty of time to settle that eternity issue. (do you?)
As I allow myself to review these “God, but…” statements, I am able to see just how much they are balking the promises of our Lord. Not to mention how selfish and “me” centered they sound.
As I process through my tantrum and allow myself to rest in the magnitude of the “…, but God.” and “God, but…” juxtaposition, it becomes such a clear picture of our battle to walk in submission to our heavenly Father. God asks for obedience and we get scared to let go of our control. We forget that whole faith thing and that He really can do what He says He can do – “God, but…”. (tense!) And in stark contrast when we completely surrender, we see how beautifully comfortable it is resting in His power – “…, but God.”(ahhhh-relax.)
There is no doubt in my mind or heart God is SOOOO not surprised by me and laughs (at my childishness) as He has been purposing particular struggles in me for kingdom lessons. Through pressure carbon becomes a diamond right? God, in his infinite wisdom, knows my heart so well and knows what I need to learn and just how I need to learn it. AND even more, having joy in spite of this thing, shows God’s power working in His child. Glory to God.
In the middle of my everyday junk and discouragement, God speaks again. CLEARLY and LOUDLY, he speaks to His child. He doesn’t love me less, but calls me closer to Him for clarity and focus on His promises. I am daily in awe at how much He loves me and doesn’t let me run my own life anymore. Even when things are hard and I lose my focus, throwing tantrums and such, He draws me near to Him. PRAISE HIM for shepherding even this one disobedient baby sheep!
I pray today you have already beaten this battle of saying “God, but…”. If you (like me this week) are not yet there, I pray right now for you to turn your “God, but…”s into “…, but God.“s. I know He is waiting anxiously to hold you close, comfortably in his embrace of peace. I urge you to find your bible, or a good friend with their bible or a spiritual mentor and let them speak encouragement in the middle of your tantrum. Allow them to lead you face down to the Father for wisdom, guidance and hope. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. [Psalm 34:17]
In Him, we have all hope. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. [1 Peter 1:3]
Humbly and thankfully In His Grip, Ashlee.