One of my dearest friends has a daughter with autism. I remember getting the painful email from Jennifer, telling us of the confirmed diagnosis. Delaney was only 2 years old.
Because I don’t have a child with autism, I can only imagine the depth of the pain that such a diagnosis would bring. The intensity of emotions must have ranged from mourning to questioning to heartbreak.
Through the years, I’ve watched Jennifer mourn the loss of the relationship she dreamt of having with her only daughter. Dreams of heart-to-heart talks have been replaced with difficult appointments with occupational therapists. Plans for typical trips to WalMart have instead resulted in meltdowns. There is a new “normal” for my friend Jennifer.
Yet, Jennifer believes in her God.
The costs associated with the different therapies for Delaney have been staggering. I cannot even count the number of times Jennifer has told me of yet another change and another cost.
I also cannot tell you the number of times she has told me of how God provided a way.
Stories of miraculous donors, state grants, and gracious friends who have become way-makers so Delaney could get the therapy she needed. Time and time again I have heard Jennifer say, “God provided before, He will provide again.”
Jennifer believes in her God. And she remembers His works in her life.
That is SO difficult to do. It is tough in the day-to-day of life to remember how God has provided in the past. We get so caught up in the tyranny of the urgent that it is often easy to forget the works of His hands. There have been so many times in my life when I have become short-sighted, full of fear, scrambling to find solutions to life’s problems on my own.
The good (or bad) news is that I’m not alone. Check out Psalm 78.
This chapter leapt off the pages for me. It’s an account of all God did on behalf of His people, how He provided water and food. How He listened to their cries and delivered them. How He performed miracles and wonders right in front of their eyes. “Yet they still continued to sin against Him, to rebel against the Most High” … because they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation.” vv. 18, 22.
Ugh. I’ve done that.
“How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! Again and again they tempted God and pained the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power.” vv. 40-42
They did not remember.
Someone once told me that memory is one of God’s sweetest gifts. The ability to think back on the past, whether good or bad, serves as one of God’s best tools to remind us of His glory and redemption.
If you attended Foothills this past Sunday, you heard the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. (In case you missed it, here’s the link to the message.)
Daniel was not a young man when he was about to be pitched in with the lions. Yet Daniel knew his God. Daniel had seen God work all his life. He saw Him in the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abedego. He saw God overthrow kings who had brought dishonor to His name. Daniel didn’t know if he would live or die in that den.
He just knew His God.
My friend Jennifer has this same resolve. Delaney is now a beautiful 8 year-old girl, and God is still providing for her. And for her mama.
Let’s catch a glimpse of our upcoming week in the Psalms.
1. Questions to Ponder As You Read
- How do these chapters remind us of God’s sufficiency?
- What do these verses reveal about God’s character?
- What will you believe about God as a result of these chapters?
Spend some time thinking on Psalm 73:25-28. Read it through once, then go back and read it slower, thinking through each word as you read. Take note of what stands out to you. Ask the Lord why this stands out. Then talk to Him about it.
Take time this week to REMEMBER. What impressed me about chapter 78 is how these stories, which took place hundreds of years prior, were still being told, generation after generation. I barely know anything about my grandmother’s life, let alone my great-grand mother’s. Yet these people KNEW the stories of their ancestors of how God delivered, provided, redeemed.
Take time to remember God’s goodness in our lives. Then be sure to tell your stories, so others will remember too.
When we lived in Phoenix, we sang the song “We Will Remember” a lot at our church. I loved it…every time. It fits so perfectly with our study this week. If you can, take some time alone with the Lord and worship Him through this song.