But God

Ephesians 2:4 – But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, (HCSB)

On a recent Sunday at our church several teen-agers gave personal testimonies. The details in the stories varied but all included the phrase “but, God…”  One talked about how he had taken a smorgasbord of pills and crawled into bed intending to sleep forever, but God had other plans for him.  One talked about how she had moved to a new school and, seeking acceptance, had done everything asked of her by her new “friends”. Her attempts to find happiness brought only embarrassment and shame but God showed her true happiness.  One talked about self-mutilating to find release from her inner pain, but God brought true release.  One talked about attempting to find happiness in financial abundance but God was the only way to fill the void in his life.  Our lead speaker concluded the testimonies with, “When God enters the scene, things change.”  He went on to challenge the congregation with the idea of Romans 10:14 –  How can people have the “but God” realization if they don’t know Him, and how can they know Him if we, who have been there, don’t tell them?  Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (HSCB).”  Many people don’t share their “but God” moments because past struggles are viewed as failures to keep hidden, but God is not a secret we are to keep.  By opening up to others, we can be living proof that God is rich in mercy and has great love for all of us.  When God enters the scene, things change, and nothing can change those things but God. I thank You, Lord, for the “but, God” moments in my life. I know that like those teen-agers I have tried to find peace in worldly pursuits, but, You, rich in mercy, because of Your great love that You had for me entered the scene and changed things.

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