But God

bible reading

Have you ever been at the bottom and feeling completely alone?

Recently I was reading I Sam 22 and found myself pausing to reflect on the predicament of David. He had been forced to flee from Saul and leave his best friend, Jonathan. He first went to the king of Gath, but shortly found himself in potential danger.

So he became a cave dweller.

A cave dweller was the lowest socioeconomic level of the culture. With no inheritance and no friends, David had hit rock bottom. Get it “rock”- “cave?” Ok, sorry.

At this horrible point in his life, he had already been anointed as king of Israel, but he had not been allowed to hold the throne. His crowning time had been delayed. His growth process was still in progress, in spite of all that he accomplished and the expectations he had exceeded.

Saul had slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands.

His incredible achievement seemed to serve as his demise. At least in those moments of living in the cave. David’s family did come down to the cave to him. I find that fact comforting.

But then verse 2 of I Samuel 22 grabbed my attention:

And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.

At the bottom of David’s cave dwelling experience, the other outcasts rallied around him.

His devout army didn’t come from the king’s finest lineage.

They were a stressed out bunch

Financially overwhelmed.

Dealing with deeply rooted issues.

I’m guessing the king just laughed about David’s little rag-tag army. He probably felt that they were all crazy. How would they ever survive against his professional troops?

But God.

And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand. I Sam. 23:14

It’s an interesting story, isn’t it?

God gave David an unlikely army and total protection, when he was at the very bottom.

I wonder what God wants to bring out of the caves in our lives.

Because I believe that cave-dwelling experience in your life is

really just a “But God” moment waiting to happen.

but God

Are you at rock-bottom?

Based on this story, I would say its time to

rally the troops

and watch for the incredible experience that follows the words:

But God.

Have you ever had a moment you knew was a “But God” moment? Will you share it with us?









  1. I think about the terrible choices I made that almost killed my marriage and destroyed my family. Wallowing in shame and guilt over my sins because I didn’t think I was worthy of God’s grace. BUT GOD wouldn’t let my marriage end. He showed me that His grace was all I need and that I am worthy. My husband had every reason and justification to show me the door, BUT GOD spoke to his heart and showed him how to forgive me and make our marriage stronger. At one point, it looked like giving up on our marriage was the only way out. But God wouldn’t let us and now we’re happier than ever, and our four young kids actually enjoy being with us again!

      1. Thank you Rachel! It took me many many years to realize that I am worthy of His grace. I still struggle with the awesomeness of it sometimes.

  2. Reading this message is a “But GOD” episode for me. After a near-sleepless night worring and praying over some job situations, this message highlights God’s faithfulness in providing comforting words, when needed. He is the Creator of all things, so to use a blog – a contemporary tool, just reflects how He reaches out across space, time, and distance to let me know that I am His and to show me some love. And, I so love Him, also. Thanks for your obedience to Him.

  3. Rachel, my rock bottom moment occurred when my then 14 year old daughter moved in with her father after my divorce. We had had a bitter exchange about soccer practice that exploded! I said things I regretted the minute they came out of my mouth! In those deepest darkest moments of despair, I began to pray…like I had never prayed before! Jesus answered my prayers with an overwhelming sense of comfort, love and peace! I returned to church and unlike all the years before, I truly felt His presence! My relationship with Him from that moment on was forever changed! He truly does make all things work together for our good! It was during that time that my dreams of serving the Lord by serving children and their families became realized! The rest is history! But my relationship and journey with my Triune God has continued to be my source of life in all things!
    Ps. My daughter came home after a two year estrangement, of her own accord. There have been many more times over the past 16 years where she estranges herself from myself and family for long periods of time, but I know now that the Lord has a plan for each of us, “to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.” Praise God!

  4. I think my entire adult life has been a “but God” moment, Rachel. 🙂 But especially after each of my miscarriages and in my learning to embrace my sweet daughter’s differences.

    I love your take on these verses. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I guess our “But God” lives are a bunch of “But God” moments strung together. 🙂 Blessings to you, FRiend!

  5. Heather P says:

    Haven’t really had one of those times. Yet, I find that right now when we are financially struggling and neither parent has employment we are being sustained by God’s grace and God’s people! I noted a passage in 2 Corinthians today. “because it is by faith you stand firm.” (2 Cor. 1:24c) That helps me remember to stand strong in my faith, cause my faith is all I have. 🙂

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