Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:18-20
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:5-7
I love the way God speaks a different message to me each year through the holy days of Passover, Easter, and Christmas. ...and how they are connected--a sort of spiral curriculum just for me. For years as a mother, I've identified with Mary "pondering these things in her heart." Rendered speechless for fear of misinterpreting or getting ahead of God is an all too familiar posture. Noodling on the bigger picture is my favorite pastime.
This December though, in the middle of our Many Moods Christmas concert, it struck me afresh. Mary had been told she'd give birth to the Messiah her people had been waiting on for centuries. The King who would deliver them from the evil reign of King Herod and others.
How would this helpless, homeless, human babe in her arms get from here to there? How much more would she and Joseph be responsible to prepare him? Was it presumptuous of her to even believe what the angel had said?
She'd been waiting 12 years, perhaps long enough to have tabled the promise, before she had any real evidence of it coming to fruition. By the time Jesus stayed behind at the temple, Mary might well have needed a reminder of who He was to become. It was not her first reflex when He turned up missing. Nor is it mine when Reid goes missing in Target or church or the Farmer's Market.
Sadly, I watched a mother from a podium recently recount the deficits and delays her teenage daughter had as a toddler. In front of her, the girl performed with a cheerleading squad from her public high school. Rather than relish the inclusion or celebrate her accomplishment, in essence this mother re-labeled the poor girl publicly. With tears and pity from her old wineskin, she mortified those of us listening on. Holding her daughter to an old diagnosis, she set a powerful example of what not-to-do.
I wanted to go tell the truth to that teenager of who she was in Christ; how God saw her in her potential; how He was completing the good work He'd begun in her. Hard to do at an autism fundraiser...where the sympathy vote seems to always win...but, then there is this blog...
Last December, Reid and I began reading this list of affirmations from God's Word every night at bedtime. And you know what, we are starting to believe them. It causes us both to act as if they are true. Some nights he picks 4, other nights I read a whole page; some nights he joins me in a hearty "Amen" after each one, other nights I oblige his, "don't do the 'amens.' Every night, I trust what God has done, is doing and will do to cause Reid "to grow in wisdom and favor and stature with God and with man," just like he did for His only begotten son, the baby Jesus.
Other variations of the list are here and here. Just pick your favorite.
There is reality and there is hope. Reality as I know it is constantly changing. Hope does not disappoint. I choose to believe even when I cannot see. For it is by our faith, that we are healed! God finishes what He begins; the baby in the stable became a Messiah who died for our sins and rose from the dead. Exactly as it is written. And He will return....as King of Kings.
The same God who planned that, can bring our kids on the spectrum to completion. Easter is coming my friends!
Let this song sink in. Let your faith arise...believe...agree with the Creator.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:23-25
...hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:4-6