I miss being in church with my family...worshiping with the wonderful people of GCC...listening to my husband preach the Word...sitting with my children as they sing their little hearts out in praise to God...enjoying fellowship during our shared meal together.
I have to admit, I told Josh (when he stopped by after church...highlight of my day!) that my weak spirit was considering a "pity party" today. But thankfully, by the grace of God, I picked up the next book on my reading list and dug in.
John Piper's "The Roots of Endurance"...appropriate, don't you think?
The Lord has been using it, along with his Word, to encourage my heart today. It is a great mix of cross-centered teaching on endurance in the faith and the evidences of this endurance in the lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon & William Wilberforce.
I was especially challenged, encouraged and convicted as I read more of the nature of true endurance in the faith, and the lack that I have to "create it" within myself. Piper says:
"The aim of all endurance is that Christ be seen & savored in the world as our glorious God. Paul makes this plain in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 where he prays for us 'that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good & every work of faith my his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ'...similarly in Philippians 1:11 he prays that we would be 'filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory & praise of God'...this is what we pray for, and this is what we trust in as we take up the biblical command to endure to the end.
We trust in the New Covenant promises of sustaining, enabling grace that were obtained for us infallibly & irrevocably by Jesus Christ in his death & resurrection. Therefore our fight and our race and our endurance is a radically God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-dependent, promise-supported life. It is not a 'just do it' ethic. It is not a moral self-improvement program. It's not a 'Judeo-Christian ethic' shared by a vaguely spiritual culture with a fading biblical memory. It is a deeply cross-embracing life that knows the Christ of the Bible as the Son of God who was crucified first as our substitute and than as our model of endurance."This concept has been most encouraging and bolstering to this weak-minded child of God. I cannot "just do it". I cannot endure because I "try harder". I have tried that most of my life. And I have even tried in these last few weeks and months. Even today.
And it does not work. It is only by embracing the cross and relying on his continual grace that I stand a chance to endure. So I am excitedly reading on to see God-centered endurance on display in the lives of these past saints.
The latest in our "endurance journey" is that I am back off the monitor and am able to get up to the bathroom again. I am still required to lay flat (with some incline at meals). My symptoms have subsided and for that we are truly thankful. Again, our little lady continues to look good every time they check her on the monitor.
Thank you Lord for your grace...and the strength to endure.