~ Psalm 119:18, NCV~
Some days with special needs, the journey becomes long. We bow with the weight of our challenges. This makes our tendency to cast our focus downward so much more easy. We look down at our problems, and the more we do, the larger they become. Chronic disorders and unique diagnoses often consume too much of our time, require too much intense discernment and suck up too much emotional energy. They crowd up too big of a piece of our lives. We don't want to be defined by them, and yet, it's so hard when medical crises demand serious attention.
I can remember almost 10 years ago when my friend's husband had a relapse of his prostate cancer. A group of us made the commitment to get together at the friend's house, lay hands on her husband, and pray for him. As I hurriedly made the 30 minute drive to my friend's house, I found myself praying and fretting in the car. Suddenly, God clearly said to me, "Barb, look up at Me, not down at the problems!" That was a powerful moment in my faith life! I rode the rest of the way feeling like the Lord had reached down and lifted a weight right off of my shoulders. My concern for my friend, her husband and their children was exchanged for tremendous peace. And I can still see the lovely country drive, the beautiful evening sky as I drove the rest of the way.
How many similar circumstances do we parents of children with special diagnoses find ourselves in? Do you fail to see blessings in the storm because you have allowed it to obscure your view of the Almighty? I know I have been guilty of that more times than I care to admit. Grumbling and discouraged, I too often give more power to the circumstance than I do to the Maker of the Universe. How foolish!
Even so, we are a work in progress. As 2 Peter 1:8 puts it, we are slowly opening our eyes, learning the upward focus "in increasing measure". Our worldly worry and downcast eyes are not retrained overnight! But as we learn to look out the hospital window to see a beautiful sunrise or laugh at the quirky statement of a child with autism, our eyes open wide. And we reflect God's glory in the midst of our trials. This makes the world stand up and take notice. If they see us and our circumstances redeemed, then maybe they'll believe there is a Redeemer!
Pray: Lord, open up my eyes to Your glory all around me! Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You, not my desperate circumstances.