|Photo image courtesy of Natasa Mandic via 123rf.com|
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Confidence In The Face Of The Arrogant
O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
for you hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.
The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
~ Psalm 5, NLT ~
I had a revealing conversation with a group of moms raising complex kids the other day. We went through a brief study of God calling Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and Moses claiming he was disqualified for the role. I asked these parents if they had ever felt too small or incompetent for what God has called them to do in their children's lives. They had no trouble immediately sharing their areas of greatest challenge.
The number one way this group could identify with feeling small and incompetent was in meeting with educational or medical professionals. There is a prideful arrogance that seeks to speak down to parents as if they are fools, knowing nothing. The feeling of being ganged-up-on is particularly common, especially in the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) process.
The mothers in this group quickly shared their frustration with sitting alone at a table with 10 people from their school, all attempting to assert their opinions rather than listening to the parent's. With the professionals possessing detailed documentation right before them, these parents often feel ill-equipped for the discussion. While the law can be on the child's side, the schools will too often try to do the minimum possible to barely comply with the law. And it seems that pulling teeth is far easier than trying to get the educational system to cooperate with allowing your child to have ESY (Extended School Year), even in the most clear-cut of cases.
One incredible help with these confrontations is having an advocate on our side. Walking into a meeting with another person, especially one who knows what our rights are, is an amazing confidence booster. Knowing that we have someone to plead our cause, who has our best interests as their top priority can make all the difference.
Whether we are able to attend meetings with the presence of another person or not, we always have an ADVOCATE on our side -- the Holy Spirit. The psalmist proclaims through his fear in Psalm 56, "This I know, that God is on my side." We can rest in that blessed assurance in the face of our feelings of incompetence. Even the most arrogant, prideful doctor or administrator is no match for our God!
As our discussion progressed I reminded these mothers,
"God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called!"
None of us start on this journey of raising a child with special needs, a disability, or chronic illness feeling confident. Few, if any of us, have a clue what we are doing at first. As we have need, God grows our skill level and fights our battles in the invisible realm. Sometimes we can clearly see His hand at work. Other times, it feels like our prayers go unanswered. No matter what emotions tell us, the Advocate is working out His perfect plan for our benefit and His glory.
PRAY: Lift us up when we are feeling lowest and weakest. Help us to remember that You are always at work on our behalf. We praise You that we can trust You will always be on our side.