"But"...one little word that generally carries a ton of negativity with it.
When we hear the word "but" it usually means the literary equivalent of a bucket of cold water is about to follow:
"that's a great idea, BUT it'll never work..."
"I know you meant well, BUT..."
"I'd love to help you, BUT..."
When my kids get caught being mean to each other, I can count on an onslaught of "buts." "but, Mom, I didn't do anything...," "but he hit me first,..." "but he said...," "but it's NOT MY FAULT."
BUT...I fill my own head with plenty of "buts" as well..."I'd get up earlier and have more prayer time, BUT I'm just too tired."
"God, I know I should, BUT I just don't have time/don't know how/[enter your own lame excuse here]..."
BUT GOD...one day I was filling particularly "but-laden," everything in my life seemed to have a "but" attached to it, and I was frustrated and frankly tired of trying to maneuver around the "buts" of my life...and then I read Romans 5:8, one of my favorite verses anyway, and that little phrase got stuck in my head..."But God." "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this--while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us." Wow, what a GREAT But!
This little phrase just wouldn't leave my head for days...and every time I used "but" in a negative way, either in speaking or just in my thoughts, I remembered this little "but" of God's that was anything except negative!! And so I started looking for other places where God takes a "but" and makes something positive come of it...here's just a few of them:
Genesis 50:20(Joseph speaking to his brothers, who had nearly killed him and then sold him into slavery)--You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
2 Samuel 14:14--But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him
Psalm 73:26--My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Acts 3:15--You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
The next time the "buts" of the world are about to get you down, focus on God's "buts!" and give Him praise!