My brain, heart, and soul had been flushed out by God’s gentle reminder that He had never left my side, so I washed up and decided to lie back down. As I lay on my bunk, remembering the spiritual immobility my bankruptcy had caused,a tender tug made me look back to the underside of the bunk above me.
In the middle of the angry sea of unorganized words, put there by men who lay in the exact spot I was occupying, two words stood out. I quickly jumped to my knees to get a closer look; I didn’t remember these two words being there before, but they were timeworn like all the others. I raised my hand and touched them; yup, they were really there.
I got off my knees and lay back on my bunk, thinking of those two words: “BUT GOD”.
What did “But God” mean to me, during my current residence in the hole? What did “But God” have to do with anything concerning me and my bankruptcy? Did “But God” even mean anything, or was I just trying to make this shoe fit?
I repeated “But God” to myself over and over, hoping it would dislodge a thought. No Bible was available to me, so I let my very-vivid mind fly through the Word. Like fireworks on July 4th, I remembered story after story that featured “But God.” They all had a similar pattern; through some cause, God’s people would experience the hardships of life. Yet at the right moment – the peak reveal – God said, “…it was meant for evil, but I meant it for good.”
As readers of the Word, we already know that God’s hand was there; with Joseph, from the time his brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt until his rescue by God, to serve as a ruler there. Yet it wasn’t until he revealed himself to his brothers that they understood that the hand of God had always been at work. In real time, as Joseph’s story unfolded, I’m sure he checked to make sure it was. Even not knowing what God’s plan for him was, he moved upwards from each bankruptcy.
I don’t know why the staff member made allegations against me. I can think of possibilities, but they truly don’t matter. Why? “But God!” God is not taken by surprise by anyone’s actions. He is always in charge. In the middle of a bankruptcy we might doubt that. Trust me, it’s easy to do. But if we check God’s sovereignty, found in His Word, we see He is always there. “But God” rings true.
I have not a single clue what God’s plan is for me. Do I get anxious at times, when the days inside my cell drag? Yes. But I return to those two words: “But God.” Do I fear the unknown? Sometimes, but only when I try to reach back to what I once had. So I turn to what God has planned for my future, and I am at peace.
Two words I now say when I wake up, and when I lie down to sleep. And in between waking and sleeping, I repeat them to remind myself that I serve a living God Who has always had a plan for me; a plan that always overwhelms any harmful intent toward His own.
As humans we have dreams, and goals, for which we strive. Many times God is in those plans and blesses them completely. Yet at times, the evils of this fallen world throw nasty wrenches into the gears of our lives. The mess that is left is never nice. It’s only natural to grieve and even question the reason, or the people, involved. It’s only human to focus first on earthly intervention. But in truth, the only One Who wasn’t fazed in the least by the wrenches was the Creator. He will always have the “But God” plan in motion. We might not like the process or the transition, but the time spent waiting for the ultimate outcome will be glorious. “But God” never fails because we have a Creator Who is not a liar.
If you are going through a difficult time in your life – one for which you were not the cause – then look up for the “But God.” Only then will you be able to take your eyes off your bankrupt pit and put them on Him, Who has a plan for you.
……….preparing myself for the journey……….
Adrian G. Torres