Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Sacrifice of Praise

In the weeks following October 21st, we were told often by friends that the hardest times were yet to come.  They were right.  Absolutely everything...often unexpected...brings Jude to mind, if I somehow wasn't thinking of him already.  The scale (because his weight was such an issue)...picking up a book I read in the hospital...working on our finances...finding his insurance card in my wallet while paying for something...Baby's First Christmas ornaments, clothes, etc. in stores...his room that we haven't touched...the pregnancy and baby name books still beside my bed...Caleb's toes...the stocking that will never be made...etc.

So often, I am brought to the point of tears, and I still have much to learn about what it means to praise God through suffering.  Again and again throughout the day, He is gently helping me to learn... to see that to offer up praise to Him when my heart is broken and I can't see past the current circumstances is to offer up a sacrifice.  A sacrifice of praise.  And, when I do praise Him, I am blessed by that sacrifice.  It fixes my eyes not on my circumstances but on His character.  It changes my perspective.

At some point during our hospital stay, I read the following...and it encouraged me.

Whether it's a financial crunch, a sudden illness, or a personal defeat, if you fix your heart on praise to God, then you have offered a sacrifice.  If you've ever cried during those heartbreaking difficulties, "Lord, I will hope in You and praise You more and more," then you know you have offered words that have cost you plenty.  Praise in those circumstances is painful... 

I've been told that the Hebrew word for "awaiting" means "quiet trust."  Those words don't sparkle like effervescence.  It's like saying I have prayed about this burden, and now, Lord, I will quietly wait on You even before I see the answer.  I expect it.  And this is my sacrifice of praise to You - I believe and trust."  

Please remember this:  Most of the verses written about praise in God's word were voiced by people faced by crushing heartache, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other difficult situations.  They knew that the sacrifice of praise was a key to victory on their spiritual journey.

Joni Eareckson Tada - Seeking God

Thank you so much for praying for us.

Isn't this beautiful?  I am now a huge fan of the illustrator, Amanda. As an atheist, she started a blog called Amanda Goes to Church: An Athiest's Assorted Explorations of Christianity.  After making a decision to follow Christ, she started a new blog:  Amanda Stays at Church: A Former Atheist's Assorted Explorations of Christianity.  She came to faith at Tim Keller's church in NYC.  Her illustrated testimony can be found on Redeemer's website.  It is all good stuff.  Check it out. 

I agree wholeheartedly about how awesome Holly is.  I forgot to link to her blog in last night's post.  She blogs a lot about gospel-centered motherhood.  Find her here


Anonymous said...

Mandy...I am a friend of Tasha's in Indy and have been following your story and praying for your family. Helen Rosearve, a missionary doctor to the Congo, after being beaten, raped and tortured heard this from the Lord: "Can you thank Me for trusting you enough, even if I never tell you why?". I hope this encourages you as it has me! Encouraged by your intimate walk with Jesus and your delight in Him!

-Ashley Diebold

amyfaith said...

Praying for you guys each day and as Ashley Diebold said;" Encouraged by your intimate walk with Jesus and your delight in Him!" Thank you for sharing with us. love & prayers continue from colorado.

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