The alarm went off this morning and I reluctantly rolled over, burying my head deep under the covers. A moan, then a sigh, then a silent prayer that I could just stay in bed an hour longer. I weighed out options for the morning. I could skip church and have a quiet morning at home; hot cup of coffee, cozy pajamas, zero eye liner, all justified by spending extra time on devotions. I could also get up, quickly get ready, and go to church. I ran both options by God and, quite expectedly, got the innate sense I should get to work on a messy bun. A few moments later, I found myself locking the door and making my way through the sweet spring breeze to church.
After the first few songs, our worship pastor took a moment and extended an invitation for us to share how God had been a cornerstone in the past few weeks. Pondering my own week, I felt in my spirit that my gift this morning was to sit and listen. One by one stood and shared a painful memory healed, a redemption story, a divine provision, and a praise amidst continued confusion. Each story shared brought tears closer to my eyes as a suddenly beautiful revelation came to mind that I could not help but be overcome by.
[ N O T O N L Y ]
A striking similarity began to arise from story to story. Two simple words always in reference to the extravagant answer of a kind God. A “not only” sandwiched between an answered prayer and the above and beyond abundance of a good, good Father. I suddenly became overwhelmed by the fact that, in relationship with the Father, almost all of our stories will include a “not only” because not only does He make a point to answer our prayers but He almost always surprises us more.
“I asked for provision for a friend and not only did he provide for today, he provided for the next two years…”
“I asked for salvation, one I wasn’t sure I believed in, and not only did He provide that, He brought me to a church that I can belong to…”
“I asked the Lord to provide me with another success at work this week. Not only did He provide one, He provided three more…”
[ N O T O N L Y ]
We have a God that loves to add on to our answers and blessings. I love that when I get to talk about my heavenly King I get to add a “not only” to many of my stories because that is who He is. He is a, ‘You think that’s cool? Watch this!’ kind of God. He is a, “I’ll be here now and then.” kind of friend. He offers a, ” I forgave your sins and separated them from you as far as the East as the West.” kind of salvation. Despite our sin and doubt, you and I have a “not only” kind of God and I am filled with joy at the thought. I hope you are too.