Do you ever feel that you do not measure up? That something you desperately desire is beyond your reach? That your best efforts will fall short of the goal? If so, then Luke’s account of the meeting that took place between Jesus and a man named Zacchaeus will help you.

A week before His death, Jesus was passing through the city of Jericho. A huge crowd thronged Him. Zacchaeus, the Chief Tax Collector, a very rich man, was one of those eager to see Jesus that day. But there was a problem.

“And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.” (Luke 19:3)

Zacchaeus was too short and the crowd too large. He tried hard to see who Jesus was, a very worthwhile goal, “but he could not.” He tried tip-toeing. It did not work. He tried jumping as high as he could. That did not work either. Each time, in spite of the intensity of his desire and the sincerity of his efforts, he came up short. How frustrating!

That would have been enough to send most men home, to cause them to stop trying; to simply give up on their God-given dream, mission, or assignment. And Zacchaeus could have done the same, but he didn’t.

“So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.” (Luke 19:4)

Observe what Zacchaeus did in verse 4. He turned the “but” in verse 3 into a “so” in verse 4. And thereby teaches all of us who often come up short a very valuable lesson. Whenever in life you encounter a “but,” don’t give up. Turn it into a “so.”

Child of God, this is one of the most important lessons you will ever learn. Whether it’s in your family, your career, or your relationship with God, your dreams will always be challenged by obstacles. “Buts” are inevitable. If you want to reach your goals, achieve your dreams and fulfill your divine purpose in life, you will need to master the art of turning “buts” into “so.”

Now, watch the outcome of Zacchaeus’ actions and be encouraged.

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. (Luke 19:4-6 NKJV)

Wow, he not only got to see Jesus, he got to spend an entire evening with Jesus by himself at his house! He exceeded his initial goal far beyond his remotest imagination. By turning the “but” into a “so,” he transformed a weakness into a strength, an obstacle into an opportunity, and defeat into victory.

Go and do likewise!