"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
IN EXILE TOGETHER
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
It’s a new year but autism meltdowns have followed
us right into 2016.
This special needs life can feel like being in
exile. Will Luke stay happy if we take him out to Chipolte’s or have a meltdown
and bang his head on the table? Should we even attempt going to this party or
will we just be chasing after Luke the whole time?
Seems like anybody’s guess. And so we often just
skip even trying.
My American Heritage Dictionary defines exile as “the
enforced removal from your native country or self-imposed absence from one’s
own country.” Too often this is what happens to families affected by
disability. Or at least how it feels.
In the book
of Jeremiah God’s people were in exile; they were in Babylon instead of
Jerusalem. Recorded in Jeremiah 29, the prophet sends a letter to the surviving
elders, priests and all the other people who were carried into exile. What does
the letter say? It tells them to build houses, marry and settle down in
We can apply this “settling down” in our
circumstances as parents and families affected by disability.How?
Even in exile they had each other and so do we. We
have each other; other special needs families who get it! I think this is one
of the reasons why Joni and Friends Family Retreats, for example, can be so powerful.
It reminds us that we are in exile TOGETHER.
Later, in Jeremiah 29 the Lord says after seventy
years in Babylon He will come to them and bring them back home. And then? The
often quoted verse 11—“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
After the exile Jeremiah gets to become the prophet of salvation and points
towards the future when Jesus comes!
As special families we can cling to the fact that
while often our lives take place outside
the norm, we have hope and a future in Christ and will one day be with Him in
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you are always with us. Thank you that you have given us the special needs community to share our life with. Help us trust you no matter what.