Have you ever noticed how the word but makes a massive difference in how a story ends?
Here are a few fictional examples:
* Megan was going to marry Jim but she changed her mind and married Bob instead.
* Leanna was planning to attend university immediately following high school, but she decided to travel overseas instead.
* Jill felt like spreading a juicy lie about the person who gossiped about her at the office but she chose not to.
This morning I read about Laban’s continued deceit towards Jacob. A few chapters ago, he promised his daughter Rachel to Jacob as a wife, but on the wedding night he secretly delivered Leah instead. Later he cheated on a agreement about sheep and goats. He’d not paid fair wages to him even though Jacob had been a faithful employee for 20 years. Jacob had every reason to be ticked off.
One day he tells Rachel and Leah that it’s time to leave Laban’s territory. He explains his reason for this decision by reminding them of Laban’s treachery, and then he says something very insightful: “But the God of my father has been with me” (Gen. 31:5). Even in the midst of being treated so unkindly, Jacob recognizes the sovereignty and presence of God in his life, and he is confident that everything will work out.
This is a great phrase to remember! It makes all the difference in the world. Here’s an example:
* “My marriage is falling apart; I don’t know what my future holds. But God is with me.”
* “I was recently diagnosed with cancer and the thought of chemotherapy terrifies me. But God is with me.”
* “My husband just lost his job and our finances are in trouble. But God is with us.”
Our circumstances can look grim, but God is with us. The word but changes everything, doesn’t it?