Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Before dipping into the Bible and its big buts, today is another kind of big: the Big Announcement about who won the Kindle Fire for subscribing to our blog. We feel honored that you would devote a portion of your precious time to regularly read our posts; we don’t take lightly that you’ve included us on your calendar.
Now, the winner picked randomly from the list of all of our subscribers is…Melanie Ansley!
Congratulations and happy Kindle Firing. We’ll be contacting you to get your address.
Now on to the main portion of my blog. I’m going to depart from the usual professional conversation we have here on the blog because I’ve been pondering a twist on words lately that has heartened me spiritually.
It all started out kind of silly when, recently on Facebook I recounted how, in a conversation with Wendy Lawton, the two of us laughed about how often, when someone starts a sentence a certain way, you know they’re about to do just the opposite of what they proclaimed they shouldn’t. The second part of the sentence is proceeded with “but.” Some of the fun ones FB commenters chimed in with were:
“I know I shouldn’t share this with you, but…”
“Not to brag, but…”
“Not that I’m changing the subject, but…”
“No offense, but…”
“I don’t want to complain, but…”
BUT then we look at many of the “buts” in the Bible, and they function the opposite way. Often God sets up a scenario or a problem and then bridges into a godly intervention with the small word that can have a big impact: “but.” (By the way, this concept was first mentioned to me several years ago by my client James Watkins; then Liz Curtis Higgs reminded me of it when she spoke at the recent Mount Hermon Writers Conference.)
Here are some examples:
“And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please come near to me.’ So they came near. Then he said: ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life'” (Gen. 45:4-5).
“Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds” (Psalm 7:9).
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
“He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living” (Mark 12:27).
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).
What silly “but” statement can you think of ?
What big “but” from the Bible occurs to you?