Hallelujah, All I Have Is Christ


Shannon Dingle talks about the struggle of raising a child with epilepsy. She tells you a story of how worship music led her to surrender the struggle to God.

If we are late to church, I struggle with worship. Why? Because, given the order of our service, being late means I miss the music.

God draws me into worship through music.

This Sunday, we were on time.

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

I've craved sin over the past few weeks. My instinct has been to tell God that He got it wrong. We were supposed to just have one child with special needs, I wanted to say to Him. We have been praying and seeking wisdom about the next child for our family, specifically the timing of another adoption and the degree of disability we'd be open to. I was broken as Robbie seized because I had come to think of special needs among my children as something I got to pick and choose.

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God's love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace

In all the circumstances of that terrifying night, God didn't meet me with the wrath I deserved in return for my arrogance in thinking I controlled disability in our family. No, what He laid out for me that night was grace, pure grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

When you're not sure if your boy will live the night, as I felt when I found mine choking on his vomit and smothering himself in his pillow pet, all you have is Christ. When you lift your boy, thrashing, out of his racecar bed, and lay him seizing on the floor, the only comfort you have as one... five... ten minutes pass is knowing Jesus and trusting Him with your life and that of the unresponsive boy on the floor.

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You

Yesterday, this is the verse that messed up all my makeup. "Oh Father, use my ransomed life / In any way You choose..."

Any way You choose.

As I sang those words, I knew they would be lies if I wasn't surrendering it all to God. I was forced to stop singing or to acknowledge that God has the right to use my ransomed life in any way He chooses... even if that means a decade mothering a child with epilepsy.

Indeed, if I have to watch my only son suffer through tests and seizures, who else should I turn to but the One who sent His only Son to earth in the incarnation we celebrate at Christmas, doing so with the full knowledge that He, the Father, would have to see His Son on the cross for my sin?

And let my song forever be / My only boast is You.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life


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