The But, But, But

Monday, January 31, 2022
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Exodus 4:13 – But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." (NIV)

"But, but, but" is a common phrase in my world these days, with a rambunctious four-year-old who has her own ideas about things and how she wants to do them.

She rummages through the utensil drawer and makes off with the pizza cutter for her pizza station and is told to bring it back. She doesn't want to go to the bathroom before we have to go out. She is told to pick up the toys before lunch or to wear her jacket because it is cold outside. But instead of just doing what she has been asked to do, her latest response is "But, but, but." She always has an excuse on her lips for why she did do something, or isn't wanting to do something.

But the bottom line is that she simply doesn't want to do what she is being asked to do.

Similarly, when God spoke to Moses and told him that he had been chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to freedom, he answered God back with "But, but, but: I am not eloquent. They won't listen to me. Whom should I say sent me? Who am I to do this?" And with every but, but, but, God patiently reasoned with him to just go and do what he had been told to do. But Moses simply did not want to do what God was commanding. Finally, he just came right out and said what was really in his heart: "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."

But in the end, just as my granddaughter ends up having to do it, Moses had to do it, too.

Now then, what about you and me? How do we respond when God calls upon us to do something? Are we like a four-year-old? Are we like Moses? Do we respond with "but, but, but" and then list all our excuses as to why we can't or don't want to do it? Whether it is to speak well of others, rather than to gossip or slander. Whether it is to give generously to someone in need, even if we don't like them. Whether it is to take time and go away and pray for certain situations. Whether it is to be honest and moral within a situation of temptation. Whether it is to begin a new phase in our lives or ministry endeavour that in our minds seems overwhelming or impossible. Whatever it is, large or small, what shall be our response to Him? But, but, but — or a response of faith and maturity which says, "Thank You for this opportunity to accept and obey You, Lord, knowing that because You have asked me to do this, You will also provide everything that I need to do it. Amen."

Prayer: Father God, thank You that each and every day, we have many opportunities to say "Yes" to You when it comes to obeying whatever it is that You are asking us to do for You and Your kingdom. May we each have hearts of faith and obedience to promptly and sincerely answer "Yes" to Your call. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Amen! Have a blessed week.

    Thank you, Lynne, for this challenge to answer God’s call.

    Thanks Lynne. Your devotions are so connected to everyday life and uplifting. Blessings.

    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing this encouraging and somewhat humorous devotional with us! Blessings.

    Thank you for writing so many wonderful devotions. I always look forward to them.

    Good morning, Lynn,
    Thank you for the good devotional this morning.

    And the battle continues between the human, limited human, and rational mind, and The Infinite Creative Mind of our Merciful God. Grace and peace.

    Thanks, Lynne. Children can teach us so much; a very good illustration. May The LORD bless you with patience and endurance as the long winter continues.

    Excellent message Lynne and one to be reminded of almost daily!
    Thank you.

    Great message for me today, Lynne. I am hoping to start a young people’s group soon and your message encouraged me to continue this challenging project. God bless!

    Another great one, Lynne. Thank you. I often use the slogan at 12 step meetings: I came here to save my BUTT and found my soul was attached. There’s another: ‘Everything after BUT is just B.S.’

    Oh Lynne – it is SO amazing the way the Lord uses you for my comfort and growth. I read today’s reflection because I need strengthening today.
    Without seeing your name, I knew that the prayer was God helping me, so I wrote it all out, with my own personal details – and only then noticed that it was from/through you. Bless you for your wonderful work for the Lord.

    You should write a devotional collection if not for general publication but for your local congregation! I especially love the grandchildren’s stories as they bring back happy memories of our times when our grandchildren were younger. All but two are pretty well grown up and they are wonderful but in a different way. The great-grandson is only six months!
    Thanks again.

    Dear Lynne,
    Many thanks for another of your delightful devotionals. It is always so uplifting hearing how your little ones give insight into a way of correlating our relationship with our loving Lord. Yes, it happens when we feel a nudge from our Lord to be of service that we might want to say “but, but Lord” and instead we really should be saying “Yes Lord” and know that He is ever ready to help us do what is required.
    Blessings for these very special writings you prepare. I always look forward to them.

    Hi Lynne,
    I am not four and sometimes I don’t want to do what I need to do so I definitely understand your granddaughter. Your message is a very good one about being willing to do God’s will and not our own. You have stated in a very cute way so that it is very clear the point you are trying to make. Great examples you give of times we might not want to do God’s will.
    Thank you for making me think about my everyday choices that I make. May through your prayer may I hear God clearly and respond “YES”. May you have a wonderful day full of good surprises. Blessings.

    Lynne, four-year-olds are brimming with lessons for each of us to learn.
    My situation has a sweetheart who fits your description to a “T”. God has such a variety of methods to help us see clearly what the Bible teaches.

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