Saturday, September 11, 2010

the only

I have wept tonight over two friends who have precious children with unknown stuff going on and the anticipation of the "what is going on?" and the plea of "LORD HEAL." I am broken for them, yet hopeful, expectant and will continue to pray in belief that God will rescue and write beautiful stories of redemption and grace. I recently read through some of my journals from this time last year and I was honestly blown away by God's utter faithfulness in not only answering my deepest cries and prayers...but He actually far exceeded what I had asked for. This has served to spur me on in my faith to believe God MORE. He is truly moved by our faith. I could list the many scriptures that I have been pouring over and really questioning my own heart on this...why don't I ask for more. Why don't we believe God more? I don't know. But I want to. I love Him and he has been nothing but amazing to me. So...Please God, I my unbelief!

My friend, Kari, gave me a gift when she came to visit. A book called "A Gospel Primer for Christians" by Milton Vincent. It has been so so so so so so so so good. Order it if you can! Anyway, it has been a daily reminder for me of the truth of the power of the Gospel in my life. One of the sweetest parts for me has been that the Spirit of God has quickened things that He has already placed in my heart and brought them to the forefront of my thoughts through these short chapters. It is as if words are written to the things that I have been thinking about over different seasons of my life. One small part has stood out to me in a unique way. I hope it encourages you to worship and overflow with gratitude towards Christ as you read it and may your life be marked with joy.- Quoted from Milton Vincent:

"Viewing life's blessings as water in a drinking cup, I know that I could discontentedly focus on the half of the cup that seems empty, or I could gratefully focus on the half that is full. Certainly, the latter is the better of the two, yet the Gospel cultivates in me a richer gratitude than this.

The Gospel reminds me first that what I actually deserve from God is a full cup churning with the torments of his wrath. This is the cup that would be mine to drink if I were given what I deserve each day. With this understanding in mind, I see that to be handed a completely empty cup from God would be cause enough for infinite gratitude. If there were merely the tiniest drop of blessing contained in that otherwise empty cup, I should be blown away by the unbelievable kindness of God toward me. That God, in fact, has given me a cup that is full of "every spiritual blessing in Christ," and this without the slightest admixture of wrath, leaves me truly dumbfounded with inexpressible joy. As for my specific earthy circumstances of plenty or want, I can see them always as infinite improvements on the hell I deserve.

When I look at any circumstance that God apportions me, I am first grateful for the wrath I am not receiving in that moment (The empty part of the cup never looked so good!). Second, I am grateful for the blessings that are given to me instead of His wrath. (Life's blessings, however small, always appear exceedingly precious when viewed against the backdrop of the wrath I deserve.) This two-layered gratitude disposes my heart to give thanks in all things and it also lends a certain intensity to my giving of thanks. Such a gospel-generated gratitude glorifies God, contributes to peace of mind, and keeps my foot from the path of foolishness and ruin."


  1. I will be praying over these children with you. We know too well the feeling of "what is wrong?" in our family. God has truly stretched and lifted us in the waiting...the question still remained, but we tangibly felt His hand holding ours while we waited.

    I am thankfully reminded too that joy in the Lord is a choice I have to make every minute of every day. I know that He is more patient with me than I deserve in wanting me to consistently choose joy. I am always grateful for any reminder in that...thank you!

  2. I absolutely love you and appreciate your depth with the LORD! You are such a blessing to our family!
    Thanks Steph!