Since it’s my birthday today I thought I’d share with you my favorite words from the Bible. These have left an indelible impression on me and have given me much strength, peace, and hope. They are sprinkled out all over the Scriptures: “It came to pass . . .” and “But God”.
When my son was a baby, a friend gave me some great advice: “Remember, the Bible says, ‘It came to pass,’ not ‘it came to stay’.” It’s good parenting advice, and yes, I passed it on to my daughter-in-law when Joy was born. Sleepless nights, teething, temper tantrums, and endless diaper changes will pass. But it’s also good life advice. We will all face difficult days and seasons. But it’s helpful to remind ourselves that those days come and go – they are not forever. In those times I look back at Noah’s story and remember: “So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made” (Genesis 8:6). After many more days aboard the ark, it came to pass that the waters began to recede and Noah opened the window to let out the dove and let in the fresh air and sunshine. My storms will pass and the sun will shine again.
There are so many verses that use the phrase “But God, ” “But You, O God,” “Yet the Lord,” and others that imply the power of the Lord God to overcome the most extreme and impossible situations. Those are some of my most favorite verses when I’m facing difficult things. “But God,” says it’s still in His able and capable hands. “Yet the Lord” reminds me that “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). “But You, O God,” tells me that He is a miracle-working, on-time, good and faithful Father. “But God” works like a hinge on a door, opening what appears to be closed for good and making a way where there seems to be no way.
Oh, there’s one more – the last words of Jesus before He died on the cross: “It is finished” (John 19:30). That means that the promise of salvation that God made in the Garden has been accomplished and I am free from the condemnation of my sin. It means I need not live in fear because Jesus has paid for every offense I committed against heaven. I can live in His perfect love now and forever.
These are my favorite words – they have marked and blessed my life. “It came to pass.” “But God.” “It is finished.” It’s my birthday, but I offer them as my gift to you. They’ve carried me a long way and they will carry you too.