So much irony, so little time.
Maybe you'll have seen it too. It's a restaurant scene in 'Evan Almighty'. You know, the one about opportunities. Here's the important part:
God: Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?
If you haven't seen it, you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDDqCgV9jWo
I have to confess to having thought it such a spiritual thing to ask for patience.
But then I experienced exactly what I posted above: The opportunities to be patient came.
And came... and came. 'Til I stopped praying for patience.
Some of you know that my opportunities for patience came in the form of my children. Two special needs kids. That require developing lots of patience.
Well, I may have stopped praying for patience, but God, in His infinite wisdom, decided that he had more in mind for me than I ever imagined. I have suspected it for a while, but today the news came. We have officially tipped the scales, and we have more a-typicals in our numbers than typicals. We have officially hit the special needs Jackpot!
Believe you me, I could tell you some stories of ways I had to develop some patience. I have seasoned them with a good deal of humour to make them more palatable, but they would represent some serious character development that became necessary in me.
Now, it's got me thinking. We all think Solomon was really wise. He prayed for wisdom. God granted his request.
Here's the account of it:
1 Kings 3:5-15
5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.
You know what it doesn't reference in there? The "How" Solomon got his wisdom. I'll bet Solomon had some wild stories to tell. Boggles my mind just thinking about it, to tell you the truth. Oh boy, I'd love to have been a fly on the wall watching that happen. But then, admittedly, I'm a people watcher.
I know that there are a lot of things that have come to me today. I feel relief that I'm not crazy. I've been seeing things correctly. I'm happy that some people that implied that I am 'less than' as a parent, for having less than perfect children, have been proven wrong. I've had encouragement, from an amazing pediatrician that I'm amazing at what I do, working with my kids. I've been told I'm implementing all the right strategies, and that this whole thing is a marathon run, rather than a quick fix sort of situation. I was paid the compliment, of a vote of confidence that I will continue successfully in my efforts, and see the payoff.
I've been handed a whole new boatload of grace to keep working at it all, even though the results will not be overnight results.
Even so, there are many things I don't know. That's gonna require more patience. More opportunities to be patient. Looks like God isn't finished answering that prayer.
Here's what I do know though. God will use whatever He has to to bring me where he wants me. I'm choosing to believe that Romans 8:28 is true when it says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
I've simply decided that this is 'on the job training' for what's to come. Even if I'm not yet sure what that will be.
Please know, that if you are working with your special needs kids, they are worth every ounce of effort that you will have to put into it to get the outcome you desire. Even on the days that you are exhausted, and don't think you've got it in you to do it one more day. Any my heart is with you as you journey. As we journey together.
If you liked this, you may also like Off the Ceiling and on to schooling