All through the Skype session last week with our youngest and his therapist, these were the thoughts going through my mind ~ This isn’t going well. He’s disengaged. He doesn’t seem to care. He’s apathetic. He’s responding but with no conviction. This is where he spirals and sabotages progress. He’s so close to the next level, but could blow it this week. Oh my goodness, help me Jesus to help him see something new. It was an emotionally exhausting hour.
At the end of each session, he and I get 20 minutes alone to just talk. Most weeks, at some point I pull out my all-time favorite devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and read to him for that specific day. It’s
bizarre so God-like how the days seem to match up perfectly each time I read to him from the book. So last week with nothing else to say during our alone time, I suggested we look at September 17th in the devotional and see what it says. It was once again amazing.
After an hour of speaking wisdom, asking questions, listening for clues – all to seemingly no avail – I read the devotion for that day and everything changed. He got it – he was being tempted by something that matched his disposition perfectly, and when he gained that understanding he independently put together a three-point plan to address that temptation for the coming week.
To reinforce his plan I put this on my Facebook: Prayers requested for the youngest who has a temptation before him. Praying for God to strengthen his hands, mind and heart for the very important work God has him on the wall doing. (Nehemiah 6) He identified a way out – may it be so.Thanks friends.
I squirmed when hitting “post”. I struggled when many friends from far and wide said they were praying, and when many more hit that “like” button, letting me know they were in it with us. What if he falls? What if he chooses the very thing that his disposition is vying for him to do. What if he steps in familiar ways that set him back?
We’ve been down this road so very many times with our boy. Pleading with God. Endlessly asking others to pray for him. Years of waiting and hoping and praying, and praying and praying. Was it even worth asking for prayers for this one – for this week – for this temptation? What if the temptation is just too great and the report is “Thanks for praying, but he fell.”? What would that say about God?
Ahhhhhh…and there it was. The question I had to answer. ‘What does that say about God?’ It didn’t take long for the question to become ‘What does this say about me?’ What is my disposition vying for me to do? Was it to rely on God’s performance in this situation? What if our boy fell? Would that change who God is?
These words floated through my mind ~ God cannot be mocked. (Galations 6:7) True. I believe that. Whichever way this week goes, whatever our boy chooses, God will not be mocked. Someone may be trying to mock my faith, but God will not be mocked. So I spent the week rooting myself in truth. God is faithful. God has provided – in too many ways to count, our boy will get there, even if he takes the l o n g way home. Pray matters, in Revelation 5:9 it says …Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. So yeah, really…prayers matter. God will not be mocked. I may or may not understand what unfolds this week, but this week will have no bearing on who God is. It will reveal parts of our boy, and parts of me will be revealed, but it changes God not. So it seems our son wasn’t the only one being tempted last week.
I had no idea what I would walk into today when the Skype session began. I wasn’t surprised to find our boy’s spirit somewhat downcast, but as we talked through the hour, it was all good news. During the past week he had taken no action that set him backwards. It sounded like he stayed on the wall and did his work. As we attempted to convey to him that he is doing such good work, he seemed unconvinced, saying “It’s just going so slow.” Yep. It is. But it’s going. We have forward movement, stay on the wall, I encouraged…you’re doing it. I cried. He seemed to wipe some tears.
Moving forward when you’re used to backward can feel unnerving, uncomfortable, unfamiliar. We’re not sure just where to put our feet and its tempting to put them back in the old tracks that have paved the way to where we are. Last week he overcame the temptation that was thrown at him, this week – of course – there is a new one. Maybe it won’t beckon so large, maybe he’ll feel more comfortable traveling in this new terrain, but we’ll be reinforcing him with our prayers as he slowly moves toward the place he is supposed to be.
And whatever happens next week and the week after that, in my life and in yours, in triumphs and tragedies…God will not be mocked.
He is good.
All the time.