Thursday, January 5, 2012


And  I’m not talking about the kind hauling off to the gym this week. Nor about the ones uttered by plaintive, excuse-making people.

The ones I’m thinking about are the buts that plant themselves squarely in the interface between curl up-and-die and stand- arms outstretched- and immovable.

These buts, which don’t deny they are in a pickle in this visible reality, can see through to the world beyond—the world shaped by and anchored in a belief in God’s word, truth, and being.

Many people I have talked to say they are happy to put 2011 behind them. It was a difficult year for jobs, security, health, and all things familiar. For me, 2011 was bookended by loss—the death of my father in January and the death of my mom in December.

In between, the Lord blossomed a book and set it on a journey of its own. I marvel at what He has done and will do with my ignorant foray into the land of publishing.

Now, as I hold my new red leather journal, spanking clean pages awaiting forms of lessons learned and life observed, I contemplate the months ahead—a pivotal country election, a position as “matriarch” (oh my) of my family, uncertainty in all things financial and secure, nuclear potential in the hands of enemies, and isolation for a country once considered “friend.”

It looks kind of scary.

BUT . . .

Then there’s God. GOD with whom all things are possible. I am determined to fix my face on the reality His presence and possibility this year—in all things, large and small.

An email received this morning reminded me that there are many women entering the Women of Faith Writing Contest right now, women who hope their story of faith and God’s faithfulness will make its way to publication.

And I think about Ann Voskamp—mother of six, hog farmer’s wife, washer of dishes and swiper of noses. A friend challenges her to find a thousand things to be thankful for. Her pursuit not only puts her on the New York Times Best seller list, but draws her deep into the heart of God.

Who knows what God will do with our offerings? With our fears? And our confusion between rocks and hard places?

The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.—Prov. 29:25
And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. . . . –Gen. 50:20
And the waters returned and covered the chariots and horsemen and even Pharaoh’s entire army . . .But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea,-- Exod 14:29  

Even in the face of death: And . . . they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead.—Acts 13:29

Yes, there are some big buts we can cling to. May the Lord encourage you with the triumph of these three small words—But with God . .


  1. Your blogged words of wisdom are a good start to the year, thanks for sharing and God bless you and yours. I've begun the year exploring and dwelling on Christ's suffering and sacrifice for me. I'm thinking about how much he did for me to cleanse and redeem me in God's eyes. So after what you said I think I'm beginning the year with '...but there's my good and valiant friend Jesus with me.' (I think that thought will get me through anything).

  2. I have the two words "but God" circled in my Bible because you're right...these words change everything. Your path to writing, as well as Ann's, is downright inspiring for this newbie. Thank you for this insightful post, Marcia.

  3. I love the "but God"s of scripture! Great reminder for the new year :)


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