I haven't blogged in a quite a while, so this might be a long post. Sorry! It also includes a book review, so bear with me.
I recently read the book Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin. (Given to me free for review by Bethany House.) I've only read a few of her books, but I really enjoy her as an author. She brings the Old Testament to life in a way that makes me want to go and read books that people aren't usually clamoring to read, like Zechariah, Nehemiah, and Ezra. Keepers of the Covenant was no exception. Beginning with the events in the book of Esther, but from the perspective of the Jews instead of Esther, and continuing on to the return of the Jews to Jerusalem from Babylon, one cannot miss the major theme running throughout the book of Trust God. All of the characters in the story had to trust God through various difficult situations, and He always proved himself faithful, even through very painful experiences. In my own life right now I have a number of things about which I need to remind myself, Trust God. Reading this book helped strengthen my faith, reminding me that God can be trusted, even when circumstances seem to say otherwise.
Trust God. Easier said than done sometimes, right? Our experiences don't always lead us to believe God is even trustworthy. But He is. Always. It's not always clear at the moment, especially the most painful, difficult moments. We can't see the whole picture. We can't know all there is to know about God's perfect plan. But we can trust him nonetheless. Right now this is challenging me in several situations in my life. For starters, Jason has a very frustrating job. He works terrible hours, many of those hours being unpaid. He has to wake up at 1am or 2am most days, and sometimes doesn't get home until 3pm or 4pm, occasionally even later. Needless to say, he's pretty exhausted all the time, and goes to bed quite early. Add in our (my) crazy schedule, and it's not very pretty some days. Don't get me wrong, we are grateful he has a job, and that it is sufficient for our needs. But it's h.a.r.d. And we've been praying for some time now that he would find a new job. Soon. In the meantime, we are trusting in God's plan in keeping him in this job for the time being, and he is doing his best to share the gospel with the guys he works with.
In my everyday life, I have this "I can do it all myself" mentality. Even though I know I clearly can do nothing on my own!! I fail miserably everyday, but I while I tell God I need his help in the morning before I get up, and at the end of the day after innumerable disasters, rarely do I actually ask for (and accept!!) his help in the heat of the moment. So many times I've thought, "But I don't feel helped." And yet the Bible promises that the Lord is our helper. Over and over again, he promises to help us. So if I don't feel helped, either I haven't actually asked (maybe I think I have, in a roundabout sort of way), or I'm not recognizing the help He is offering, or I see it but I reject it in favor of my own stubborn pride. In none of those options am I trusting God to help me with the right now. I find it relatively easy to trust God in the face of some big, impossible problem. But in the never-ending laundry-arguing children-lack of patience-homeschool-dinner-lack of patience-therapies-dishes-work-lack of patience-hecticness that is my life? Not so much. (Did I mention my lack of patience??) But God promises to help me. So this is me, renewing my trust in God to help me through the everyday.
And then there's James. There are things I worry about with all three of my children, but James has the longest list! Let me say first that he is doing SO well. He has come such a long way this year, thanks in no small part to his 4 wonderful therapists. He can understand so much of what is spoken to him, without any sign. Sometimes I am surprised by words he understands that I wasn't expecting him to. However, that's just at home, in our everyday vocabulary. When he goes to church in his Wednesday night class with kindergarten and first graders, it's abundantly clear how far behind he still is in his language comprehension. And here I mean in sign and in spoken language. He's also still very delayed expressively. Again, he's made huge gains, and we are so happy with his progress. But compared to other 5 and 6 year olds, he just can't keep up. And that's ok, but it can be so disheartening. And it makes me question every decision. And worry if he'll ever catch up. And wonder if I should be doing something different with him. And on and on go the questions and the worries. But I have to trust God. Just last week he had surgery to correct his insufficiently functioning palate, called VPI. The surgery, called a pharyngeal flap, is supposed to help him with producing sounds necessary for spoken English. But recovery has been a beast so far, and as of right now I'm not seeing any marked improvement. He's not allowed back to speech for 4-6 weeks, either, so it might be a while. But I worry that maybe we put him through this for nothing. But he clearly wants to talk, and he works really hard. So we had to try. Without the surgery there was no way he would ever speak clearly. So all I can do is trust God. That's all I can do in all areas where he is concerned! I have to remind myself that He made James, He knows James and all that he's capable of. And while our goal is for him to catch up to his peers, it's ok if he never does. Because God still has a plan for him, and I will teach James to follow it. Speaking of, James recently started asking me to pray for him, and volunteering to pray for others who are sick or hurt. So he knows that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, and that we should pray when we are hurt or sick. That might be about it so far, but I'd say that's a good start. And this morning in church he was actually signing along with the interpreter during worship. :)
So the bottom line here tonight...TRUST GOD. Will you join me in committing to trust God in everything?? I hope you will!