The other morning I was sitting outside on my porch with my coffee and Bible and journal and I was reading and writing. It’s shaded in the mornings so I love to sit there before it gets too warm and I can soak up all the fresh air before feeling cooped up in air conditioning all day. I love, love, love that time in the morning! And from the outside it always feels so picturesque and perfect. But the things running through my mind can sometimes be so far from that because…well, that’s life. Right? Seasons of joy and seasons of hardship, but even in seasons of joy there can be really hard things.
Anyways, my mind naturally wandered to hard things in my life and in those around me: illnesses, struggling marriages, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, finance issues…
Eventually I moved to writing down dreams that I really want to see the Lord fulfill: relationships with my neighbors, a movement of missional professors, freshman searching for God, my friends to walk closely with the Lord…
And all these things left me feeling overwhelmed. Burdened. Sad. Stressed. Until I remembered one key phrase from Scripture…
“27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead” (Acts 13:27-30)
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:1-5)
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)
“For consider your calling, brothers; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-27)
Things may seem hopeless, lifeless, or destined to continue in hardship. BUT GOD is rich in mercy, love, compassion, justice, wisdom, truth, and power… to name a few. So I can claim hope rather then despair, peace rather than fear, and compassion rather than anger because of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit living in me.
So I’ve been trying this past week to simply say “But God” when I begin to lose sight of the hope. Sometimes my thoughts go on a little rabbit trail of things and saying “but God” interrupts them and shifts my focus from myself to the power of God. It’s lead to me praying for “but God” moments–a time when God intervenes and takes things the complete opposite direction. After all, that’s the Gospel. We were headed towards death in the chaos of our sin, BUT GOD intervened and gave us life. Thank you Lord!
[[Also, remember you can sign up to receive this blog by email on the top right of the page!]]