Sometimes it comes out as a whine. “But God, I’ve been waiting for so long.” On my worst days, I hear it coming out of me like a toddler-style tantrum, “But God, I just can’t do it!”
In these “but God” prayers, my emphasis is in the wrong place.
Instead of “but God,” I need to pivot to “but God.” From “but God, I can’t,” to “I can’t, but God can.” In fact, as I look back, I see I’ve written that phrase in my journal over and over again, “I can’t, but God can.”
There’s good biblical witness for this truth.
Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
The Apostle Peter had a but God moment. He told the Jewish-Christian leaders of the early church, “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean” (Acts 10:28). In other words, Peter thought he knew the rules and the “right” way to worship, but God showed him a better way.
The best but God moment of all is the resurrection.
Jesus died on the cross, “but God raised him on the third day.” (Acts 10:40, 13:30)
I don’t know about you, but I always need more resurrection in my life, more but God!
Maybe you currently face a season of life that seems bigger, harder, and scarier than you ever thought possible. This is a hard time, but God makes the impossible possible.
Maybe there’s something you feel called to do, but you know your limitations and it feels beyond you. You can’t do it, but God can.
Maybe you’re waiting on an answer or guidance from God. Waiting stinks, but God is with you.
Each of these is an opportunity for a pivot. Move your emphasis from the but to God and see how your prayer life changes. We have expectations and limitations, but God is beyond our expectations and ignores our limitations.
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