I love this picture. The dying stalks lifting up frail heads to seemingly worship. The sun casting its transforming rays through and beautifying them.
Without the sun and with a different perspective, this picture would have turned out so much different. It was actually taken at a cemetery. The nearby tombstones were not caught but the light filtering through seeds was. A reminder to me of hope beyond death and of perspective.
What a difference perspective makes.
What an impact our words have on our perspective.
These are words that are moving toward extinction in our house.
I’ve found myself in a habit if saying, “Yeah, but…”
It’s a season I’m in of certain challenges.
Couldn’t we all say that?
Ha! Isn’t that all of life for everyone?
I recently found out that my thyroid medication was a bit too much for me. I have spent a month or so feeling overly stressed about life, overwhelmed and easily frustrated.
My husband and I were chatting on the sofa early in the morning over our coffee. I was explaining how I was feeling so overwhelmed and easily irritated. He was encouraging me to trust in God’s promises and truths about the spiritual realities for me as one in Christ. I had just gotten my lab results but had not received new meds yet. Up until that point, I had been praying for the Lord’s help in my day. At that moment though, I gave myself over to feeling sorry for myself for being allowed to have a thyroid problem that impacts so much how I feel mentally and physically.
More than self-pity, I was angry at God over this problem I’ve been dealing with for years which always seems somewhat unresolved. I was angry that my husband doesn’t know what it’s like and that I’m the one that seems to struggle the most with emotions.
The “Yeah, buts” came out. “Some of God’s promises just aren’t for me right now…”
Then a truth came:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
I’m sure the words in my heart when this verse was presented to me were, “Well Paul never had a thyroid problem!”
My husband pleaded with me to continue trusting in the Lord. But these words were mine, “Right now, I’m trusting in my doctor to get me some new meds!”
Now in defense of myself, I had three nights in a row of about 4-5 hours of sleep each night and feeling very stressed. But they were my words and that was truly how I felt.
He pleaded again with me to move away from the “Yeah, buts” and to move toward what he calls the “But Now’s.”
I ignored His plea in order to wallow in self-pity.
Since that moment, the Lord has done something in my heart. I spent the next day turning myself over to the sin of self-pity and deciding that there was no enabling for me. I wanted to believe I was too challenged to receive help from the Holy Spirit.
But the Lord worked in my heart. In the midst of this challenge, the Lord did enable me to turn from that horrifying attitude. Without me asking, He stayed with me throughout that day and by the end of it He had thoroughly convicted my heart. By the next morning He had given me His joy and peace.
Yes, as Christians, we must yield to the Spirit as we live out our lives. Sometimes though, He pushes through when we’re not yielding. In His kindness, He spoke HIS “Yeah, buts.” He shepherded me and lead me to streams of living water…His Word.
So I’ve recently spent some time looking at God’s “Yeah, buts”. I’m writing today to share them with you.
I pray that if you are experiencing a challenging season, you’ll find comfort in them.
The truth is, Paul did have physical ailments that impacted how he felt. Maybe it wasn’t a thyroid problem, but it was a challenge. In fact, he experienced much worse for the sake of the gospel than I have. He still trusted in God’s grace to be sufficient for Him.
The truth is, Jesus never stopped being faithful to the Father even in the face of torture.
The truth is, this life and its challenges are a part of the fall. And God is rescuing us from all of this.
My husband tried to tell me this week that the “But now’s” in scripture are critical. They are God’s “Yeah buts” and critical pieces of information for us to know and cling to. They must replace our “Yeah, buts” to give us a new perspective. I’m happy to say that I was eventually encouraged by them. I hope you are too.
May the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul comfort you this week in whatever season of challenges you find yourself in!
The “But Now’s” in the New Testament:
“20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:20-23
“4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” – Romans 7:4-6
“19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law,so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” – Romans 3:19-26
“23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came,in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” – Galations 3:23-26
“12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” – Ephesians 2:12-13
“9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” – 2 Peter 2:9-10
“24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” – 1 Peter 2:24-25
Linking up this week with these encouraging ladies:
Chronicles of Grace