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.
At the beginning of the summer, my pastor greeted me in the hallway of church and handed me the book Blessed Be Your Name by Matt and Beth Redman. He said it was a great book about worship and thought I might be interested in reading it.
I love to read, and so I had every intention of starting it right away, but life was busy. These are the times when I know without a doubt that God weaves every single moment in our lives together like a priceless piece of art.
At the time the book was given to me, life was going along just fine. I had no idea that I would need the words which were poured out on the pages of that book. I didn’t have a clue that, once again, grief was up ahead waiting for me to arrive.
Last weekend, I finally sat down to play the piano. It’s been awhile. When I’m facing difficulties, music becomes repressed deep inside. I can’t sing a note and playing the piano doesn’t appeal to me. But on Saturday, my fingers finally eased over the keys and I heard my voice again. It was during that time of worship when I saw the book out of the corner of my eye, so I opened it wide. I read it cover-to-cover.
In the worship song Blessed Be Your Name, a portion of the lyrics say, “Blessed be Your Name on the road marked with suffering, though there’s pain in the offering.” Oh friends, recently there has been nothing but pain in my offering. And yet I have some good news: I’m still making an offering.
I came across the following quote while reading the book:
"Mature worshippers of Jesus learn to bring an offering in every season of the soul, for every high and every low, knowing that the worth of Jesus outweighs each and every pleasure in this life."
-Matt and Beth Redman (Blessed Be Your Name Worship Series)
In every season – good or bad – we have a responsibility to bring an offering before our God. His worth is beyond what any of us can comprehend, and offerings of praise are not just for the times when life is smooth sailing. Offerings of praise need to be found in the middle of the lament- deep in the midst of the soul’s cry for breath.
To give Jesus your tears in an offering of praise shows an urgent need for Him to show strong in your life. It’s telling Him, “Hey, I’m counting on You, because You are God and I need You desperately!” Offerings of joy are beautiful, but let’s face it… it’s much easier to give an offering during the harvest than it is during the famine. And so in every season, EVERY SEASON, we must pour out an offering of praise. It might not be the offering we planned, but it will be the most meaningful...
I wish I could properly communicate the stirring in my soul right now. Through pain, depression, fear, and grief God is moving. I’m breathing again. I won’t lie, it’s still hard. And so I thank God that I find Him most inside the “stills.”
I want to encourage you to give Him an offering today. Through pain or Joy, whether it’s down on your knees in prayer or over a cup of coffee with a friend who needs love, give an offering to Christ today. Believe that He is for you and know that He loves you. His worth outweighs whatever you are facing. Trusting Him in the valley is the only way to find strength to climb the mountain.
I know that many of you who read what I write have found this blog because you’re struggling through grief. I wish I could look into your eyes and tell you that your offering, whatever it is, is enough for Christ. Whatever you have is more than enough for Him. You are enough for Him. Your grief isn’t meant to destroy you, it’s meant to lead you further into His arms.
So pour it out, sisters. Pour out the offering of praise in the midst of whatever your circumstances are. Regardless of joy or tears, empty it all out for Him.
How can I pray for you today?
If you are interested in reading my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, click here.