But God

July 11, 2011

in the generous life

© Bert Folsom | Dreamstime.comI had a weekend of extreme ups and downs. [shaking head]  It sort of put me through the emotional wringer.  I went to a local Lavender Festival with my husband and wandered around looking at all the cool arts and crafts (I love spending time with him, I bought lavender plants and dried lavender to make sachets).  We shared a piece of Huckleberry cheese cake (yum).  Then we met for the day with friends who were camping.  The drive was spectacular and the camp ground was great.  (They even had toilets!  Toilets are very important.)

Then …
I got the call that a friend of mine had lost her husband and son in a plane crash.  You hardly know what to think in moments like that.  Your heart goes out to those who grieve, but it all doesn’t seem real.

Then …
My husband and I took a wrong turn on the way home.  We spent the better part of an hour driving up and down the roughest forest service roads I’d ever been on (sheer drops along one side of the road, no guard rails, downed branches, large rocks, deep ruts … I told my husband that Jesus was surely asleep in the back of our car, Mark 4:38).

My world had narrowed to a rutted road in the headlights.  It felt like it would never end.  On top of the news about my friend, I felt pretty lost, both physically and emotionally.  But God … was there.

I don’t know how many times it says but God in the Bible.  It’s in the thousands, which thousand depends on who you talk to or what version you read, but it’s there a bunch of times.  Those words usually appear at a point of difficulty or danger.  It usually reveals some huge contrast.  The enemy means to do some harm, but God will work something good in it.  God swoops in and does His God thing. Sometimes we don’t understand it (when it’s hard or scary), but we can trust Him because over the long haul we can see His hand in our lives and we know how deeply He loves us.

So … (obviously) we made it home safely. I will enjoy the lavender blossoms and remember my day with my husband fondly.  One day I might even brave the forest service roads to go camping again (maybe).  I will walk with and grieve with my friend, and I will watch for that but God moment when I see His handiwork and know that He is good.

You can look for those moments in your life too.

From my favorite Bible story: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Gen 50:20  NIV

Image credit © Bert Folsom | Dreamstime.com

Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelley July 11, 2011 at 3:39 am

So sorry to hear of your friend’s loss. We will be praying for her comfort, peace, and strength. This post has really touched my heart. When our infant daughter died in our arms, those “but God” verses carried us through.

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Gretchen July 11, 2011 at 3:43 am

“But God . . . Praise Him that He is always with us–even when we don’t know which way to go next. Thanks for sharing your “humanness” with us!

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Heather July 11, 2011 at 4:51 am

One of my favorite sermon series was on that word “but…” (And also on nevertheless, which is the same thing). That is when I did my best to cut it out of my vocabulary, or at least be very choosy when I’d use it, because it is a very powerful word. WHen you use “but”, it negates EVERYTHING that came before it.

Like when people say “I love you, BUT” they are putting conditions on love, and love is unconditional.

Now, when you say I am upset with you, BUT I still love you, you are conveying a message that says “no matter what I feel, I still love you”.

That is how it is with God…no matter what, he is there. He still loves us. He is there to walk with us, we just have to take his hand.
.-= Heather ´s last blog ..Adoption Agencies =-

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christy July 11, 2011 at 5:08 am

Hi Lori,
I am very sorry to hear about your sad news. I am glad you made it home safely too.
I just wanted to comiserate a bit. Four weeks ago, I partially tore my achilles tendon, then I had surgery for a cyst, then I got an infection, then my son was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and spent a week in the hospital on oxygen with pneumonia, in the middle of that week my daughter came down with a stomach flu, our mail was on strike and our hydro cheque got stuck and they nearly shut off our hydro, then all the rest of us including my very sick son got the flu, then my husband came down with pneumonia, then my 1 yr old son came down with bronchitis, then we showed up for my five year old daughter’s first ever swimming lessons, got her into her bathing suit, dipper her toes into the water and found out that she somehow wasn’t on the list and the list was very full.
Packing her up and taking her home in tears was the breaking straw.
But through it all I have felt that through this adversity that God has been with us. I love your… BUT GOD… point. As I have been telling friends who ask how we have been I have found myself saying, BUT GOD. There is a place in Isaiah 61 (or 62) that talks about the Angel of His Prensence. That has been such a comfort to me. God is with me always. He watches over the tiny sparrows and He is caring for me in every moment even more so!
.-= christy´s last blog ..Mess, Coffee, and 31 Days of No Sleep. =-.

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Barb M. July 11, 2011 at 6:23 am

Please extend my deepest condolences to your friend…
I will pray for her.

And I’ve been on one of those mountain roads exactly like that, on a first date, thank God he wasn’t an axe murderer (I was praying hard!) We were supposed to go to a lodge restaurant to eat and he wanted me to quickly see a waterfall…yeah, sure.

I had a week like that, too, when my ex did not return on my pick-up day with my 7 y.o. daughter and I am still waiting…
My teen son yelled at me, “You never let me go anywhere!” and “Everyone else is going!”
My adult son is scheduled for surgery on his knee, but still wants to go out and party and not go to church anymore, because, “He’s grown-up and doesn’t have to.”

We have family counseling today, but we were only able to talk our 11 y.o. daughter into going, and she’s going to talk about how her younger sister bullies her and how she is afraid to grow up. :(

But God…
I believe.
Our pastor did a sermon on this phrase one time and I’m eager to hear it again.

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Angie July 11, 2011 at 7:26 am

‘But God’ – my favourite Bible phrase. It makes all the difference… I just read Genesis 50 this morning, too…

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Meredith July 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

I’m so glad we serve a God who is able, willing, and working. praying for you, your husband and your friend.

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Nancy July 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

yes, we need to remember this always! A friend shared this with me today and it was a beautiful testimony. I’m praying for your friend today, and also for the previous commenter–Barb. I hope to take some time and explore your blog, looks so good. :)

Blessings!
Nancy

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Heather July 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Lori,
So sorry to hear about your friend’s loss.

Thank you again for your daily encouragement. It’s blessed me time & time again, and I find myself thinking more often about blessing my husband and seeing things from his perspective because of the daily reminders to be intentional about building our marriage.

Thank you!

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Ms Sharealot July 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm

What lovely words! I had never noticed how often ‘but God” is in the Bible, but now that you mention it, it is so true! A great reminder abou how He is always with us, and how we should be mindful of that. Thanks for writing this!
.-= Ms Sharealot´s last blog ..Googling Down Memory Lane =-.

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Kim July 11, 2013 at 2:42 am

I am so sorry for your friend’s loss-I will pray for her.

I have always seen “but” as a bad word, indicating a backhanded compliment of sorts: I love you and your great, but. . . :-(

This is eye-opening, as it is a whole different take on that word. There is so much comfort to be found there, no matter what happens in this world. Now I, too, will look for the “But God” moments in my life. Thanks so much for sharing this perspective, Lori!

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