But God

 It’s always funny to me how God chooses to reveal Himself. It can be clear, pleasing, sometimes unexpected, but it is always obvious once He has my attention.
I am in between novels right now; editing one, forming and outlining the next. And each book in this series begins with a scripture that reflects the overall truth in the story. So as I opened my Bible, it fell open to where it has begun to naturally fall due to sheer wear and tear. It fell open to my favorite Psalm, number 37. I’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count.
But God
I began to scan through the verses that I can see when I close my eyes. Now, do you know how I know that the Word is a living document? It changes as my perception changes, as I grow, and God reveals something now that I need to know or to comfort me or encourage me. And He uses words that I’ve already read dozens and dozens of times.
The first verses I saw were 12 and 13: “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at thembut the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.” I wrote that down for later use. I read 14 and 15: “The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.” Wrote those down too. Those are both great, I thought. Though there is evil, the Lord wins. I noticed the word “but” used in both verses.
“…but the Lord laughs…”
“…But their swords will pierce their own hearts…”
But God!
Wow! Even as I kept reading, but God kept showing up. Verse 17, verse 20, verse 22. There is evil, but God! I am poor, but God! We don’t know where we will be living in two months – but God! I am so tired and feeling burnt out – but God!
See what started to happen?
It began to bleed into the evils that I see in my own life, the trials that face my husband and I on a daily basis. And I am sure that they are many of the same things that you face as well!
I am late in explaining, but my husband is a youth pastor. We picked up our entire life in Pennsylvania only two years into our marriage, and followed God’s call for us in Florida. All of our family and friends said things like, “Oh, now you are going on a permanent vacation,” and then laugh in a teasing way. And we would laugh along with them. Don’t get me wrong; we were excited! This is what we had talked about since we had started talking about getting married. This was where we wanted to end up one day. And God had given us our hearts’ desires! And maybe it did feel like a vacation for a little while when we first moved, with stars in our eyes.
But reality catches up.
We have had to learn a new area, meet a lot of new people, and totally change the way that we had learned to do life together. Sound familiar?
We’ve had to change our plans last minute for someone in the church. I’ve had nights where I can’t sleep because anxiety and stress about all of the things that I have to accomplish in not only my personal life and my marriage, but also our ministry obligations. I sometimes get really frustrated when I hear someone criticize my husband while talking to us. 
Hitting close to home?
I heard all of these stories from my pastor and his wife who were doing our pre-marriage counseling. They specifically wanted to mentor us because they said “being married and being married while in full-time ministry are very different.” And how right they were!
But as I was reading these verses, I realized something very important. It doesn’t matter what my complaint of the day is, because let me be honest, I tend to complain. A lot. It doesn’t matter who I’m frustrated with. It doesn’t matter if I think that something isn’t fair or if I’m tired or if my husband and I have to plan a date night 3 weeks out. And it’s not like these things matter to God. They do! They matter so much to Him! It doesn’t matter because God is bigger than all of these things. He knows where my husband and I will be moving to. He knows exactly how much money we need to pay all of our bills by the end of the month. He knows that it is important for our marriage for us to spend time together. 
He knows, because He’s bigger than our struggles!
I might be tired.
My husband might be at another meeting tonight and I am home alone. Again.
I might be just ready to go lay in bed and wake up six days from now.
But God loves me and He will sustain me.  And because of this, I can carry on confidently.

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