The word but is neither fancy nor flowery. It’s not loaded with visual imagery. Used alone, it neither stimulates the senses nor sends imaginations soaring. Nevertheless, it’s packed with power and ability to change the direction of our lives.
Take Joseph for instance. When Pharaoh asked him to interpret his dreams, Joseph replied, “It is beyond my power to do this…but God can tell you what it means and set you at ease” (Genesis 41:16).
But. Three letters. One little word. One life instantly and dramatically changed. And millions of others impacted.
Now let’s rewind the story and imagine the scenario minus the word but. Put yourself in the palace as Pharaoh asks for Joseph’s help. This time, Joseph’s first thought is Who, me? I can’t do this! His heart pounds and his palms sweat. Finally he sputters, “It’s beyond my power to do this.” Bad move. He loses his head or lands back in prison with plenty of time for regret.
Thankfully, Joseph forged beyond “it is beyond my power to do this” and put his faith into practice. “It is beyond my power to do this, but God can tell you what it means,” he said. But moved him from prison to palace and gave him a position he’d never imagined.
The word but contains the same life-changing power for us today. It applies to our fear of inadequacy, but there are other scenarios, too:
- “It’s beyond my power to forgive so-and-so for hurting me…but God can give me the grace necessary to let it go.”
- “It’s beyond my power to give thanks for the heartache in my life…but God can enable me to do what He commands.”
- “It’s beyond my power to face another day…but God can give me the strength I need.”
There it is. Three letters. One little word. One life instantly and dramatically changed. And who knows, but maybe millions of other lives impacted.
Here’s your assignment for the day. Fill in the blank. “It’s beyond my power to ____________. But God can __________________.”