Monday, November 25, 2013

In all things?

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”  
( 1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)
During this month, every time I log onto Facebook, I see all these posts from friends with their lists of what they are thankful for, and all of their wonderful joys this Thanksgiving season as they post their daily “Today I am thankful for…” posts.
Don’t get me wrong I am happy for them. But sometimes when we are having a “special needs moment,” I just want to take a baseball bat to the computer screen.
It’s brutally challenging to give thanks in everything, isn’t it? Does that include the sleepless nights, the never-ending therapies, hospital visits, insurance dealings, meltdowns and outbursts or the constant daily grind?
Then throw in the stresses and anxieties the holidays can sometimes bring to special needs families.
Those of you raising a child with special needs know how truly hard this is at times. We all have days when we want to crawl over to the dark side and linger for a while.
I talk to so many parents who have this chronic sadness or sorrow that never seems to go away. It fades into the distance, but it is always still there, hiding in the shadows of their hearts.
I confess that there are days I just don’t feel thankful. There are days I get envious and jealous or frustrated and my attitude quickly changes colors. My poor attitude and lack of gratitude make it tough to find something that brings joy or fosters thankfulness.
But scripture says I am to choose joy. The scripture says it is God’s will for me to remain joyful. So in order to do that, I have to change my perspective.
I have to make a choice.
I have to take the same circumstances, the same situation, the same issues and look at them differently in order to choose thankfulness. It’s my choice. It’s not about changing my lot in life or my circumstances. It’s about how I respond to my lot or circumstance. I can’t control the circumstances, only the way I respond to them.
So as a dad of a son who is autistic, non-verbal, afflicted by cerebral palsy, non-mobile, and cognitively challenged- what do I have to be thankful about this season?
I am thankful for a son who has been protected from the impurities and imperfections of this world.
I am thankful for a son who I will get to be around every day for the rest of our lives.
I am thankful for a son who even at 16 years old still hugs my neck.
I am thankful for a son who taught me about true unconditional love.
I am thankful for a son who has taught me the essence of grace--a Father doing for his son what the son can’t do for himself.
I am thankful for a son who has taught me complete and utter dependency on God for my every need.
I am thankful for a son who has taught me to find joy in the simple things and contentment with just a few things.
I am thankful for a son that God has used to help me find my purpose in life.
I am thankful for a son who seems to bring out the best in everyone he encounters.
I am thankful for a son that I love simply because he is my son, not because of anything he has ever done or will ever do.
I am thankful for a son whose name is written in the Book of Life with a permanent marker.
I am thankful that God has given my son a plan, purpose, and destiny for his life before he was ever born.
Yes, it would be easy to come up with a list of things I’m not thankful for. In fact, it would be real easy. After all, it’s my choice.
And it’s yours as well.
Choose joy. Choose thankfulness. Count it all joy my friends.

We were chosen. We are called. God’s strength is perfected through our weakness. Give thanks my friends.

PRAY: "Father you say that all things work together for good for those who love you and are called according to your purpose. Thank you for calling us, thank you for loving us, thank you for giving us a purpose."


  1. Thanks for being real with us. We really do have much to be thankful for.

  2. Beautiful post - Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessings to you!