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Monday, January 29, 2024 (Mary Ann)

Posted on by Josh Heppner 0 comments
It's Monday!  It's Mary Ann!

I was doing a lot of reading this week, actually looking for something to write here. And I came upon a phrase that I guess I’ve seen a lot but never thought about.


Time after time, throughout the Bible, those two little words about our big God change everything.

Consider Noah. After he floated in an ark for five long months we read, “BUT GOD remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.” Genesis 8:1

Then there’s Joseph. Talk about sibling rivalry. Just ‘cuz he’s Daddy’s favorite and gets the latest GQ fashion coat, his jealous brothers sell him into slavery. Then even though Joseph ended up in Pharaoh’s palace, he was accused of attempted rape and thrown into prison. “BUT GOD was with Joseph in prison and showed him his faithful love.” (Genesis 39:21) Eventually Joseph became ruler of Egypt, and when his brothers came pleading for food during a famine, Joseph calmed their fears of pay-back by saying, “You intended to harm me, BUT GOD intended it all for good.” Genesis 48:20

You get the idea. God knew all this would happen to Joseph. And because of Joseph’s steadfast faith, God led him step by step through it all and God’s ultimate plan was met. Our good, good Father hasn’t changed. He still wants to be this intimately involved in our lives, causing “…everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Here’s more Good News: “BUT GOD is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” Ephesians 2:4-5a

Once we were dead because we loved sin. We were dead because we relied on our own strength. We were dead because we didn’t love God and give ourselves wholly to him. BUT GOD gives life!

As in the Bible, time after time in our lives, those two little words have changed our circumstances. And if not our circumstances, our perspectives. And if not our perspectives, our attitudes. And maybe most importantly, God has changed us. Sometimes subtly; sometimes dramatically.

I lived in southern Illinois for five years, then decided to move back here to my roots. Everything was going according to (my) plan. I had buyers for the house and was starting to pack. And then, the mighty Ohio flooded. So did my house and belongings. BUT GOD patiently guided me through it. Now, when I look back, sometimes I wonder why I was so calm through those months of financial loss and navigating all the changes and decisions I had to make.

To some friends, this calm didn’t make sense. But we know, don’t we? It was always those two hopeful, change-making words.

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, BUT GOD remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26

We all have stories. We need to tell each other our BUT GOD stories.

Your turn!

Mary Ann


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