Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
I sit listening to the gentle sounds of the piano and hear the cicadas outside my window singing along. They must be praising Jesus again. I happen to think that all creatures of the earth were designed to do nothing but worship. How lucky are the ones without the free will?!?! They do nothing but exalt with their mouths. No matter what, they know God is on the throne, and so their voices cry out. I envy the cicadas.
I consider my day. How well have I done? Have I shown love, given grace, shared hope? Have I used my voice in praise? Was it enough?
I believe in investing in people. I want to love, give the benefit of the doubt and always hope for the best. I need good to come from bad. I desire to be more than a conqueror. Christ says it’s possible. Because of Him I can be more than. More than! More than a conqueror!!! (See Romans 8:37)
Wow. Hope, in all its glory, wins because there is no end to what more than actually means. There is no limit in the Lord. His love goes on and His grace overcomes. He lifts up blonde haired, blue eyed girls like me with messy hearts and says, “You can because my Son already did!”
So what happens when enough for Christ is never enough for somebody else? What happens when people hurt you and they continue to hurt you? How can we be conquerors in Christ when we want to clobber somebody?
Here’s what I think: The only way to keep loving, to keep living wholly in holiness, is to give every shredded piece of our hearts to Jesus. When people tear, just keep handing it over. Piece by piece He’s weaving together our victory, because we are choosing surrender.
When I close my eyes, it’s as if I can see God with scarlet thread sewing my heart up and making me whole. I imagine that He’s chosen the color scarlet to represent the color of love, the color of blood, to show me sometimes love bleeds and hurts.
I recently heard a very wise man say, “Love, at its core, is commitment.”
Love can be risky, friends. It was for Jesus. He suffered and died for a lot of people who refuse to acknowledge Him as Lord. Whenever I’m upset with someone, all I have to do is think of that and I want to drop to my knees.
What right do I have to complain? My job is to love and my commitment to Christ obligates me to do so.
I’m on a journey of completion. I know it won’t happen until I meet my God face-to-face, but every day of my life here on this earth is the process of Christ making me more than a conqueror.
Do you know why the cicadas sing at night? To avoid predators.
Our praise to the living God, our surrender to Him, helps us shun the invitation of sin that would love to enter and destroy us. Praise and worship of the Father is actually protection, and I believe it helps birth love inside us for others. Even when they hurt us.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
So friend, keep praising, keep loving, keep surrendering. Even when you’re hurt, even when you don’t understand, use your life to praise God. You’ll never be sorry you did.