Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The "A" Word

Autism is a really easy word to say, until a doctor (or you, yourself!) diagnoses your child. 

As I have said before, there were early clues in James' development as to where he was headed.  When James was between one-and-a-half and two years of age Jim and I began to realize that our little guy was hardly talking.  When he did speak, it was just a handful of words, and he didn't always use them appropriately.  I had a feeling that something was going on, so I researched metal detoxes on the internet.  I ordered one that had great studies and was published--others must have seen results with it, too.  The price has just about doubled since I bought it back then.  I didn't even put it together at the time, but as I used the detox, James slowly began to use more words.  My concerns started to diminish, and I put away the metal detox without much more thought about it. 

We were blessed to have been visited by a family at our church several years ago who had two beautiful boys; one was autistic.  The young man was constantly moving (and constantly smiling!) He spun his hands at times, which I've learned in my research with James is called "stimming".  (self-stimulatory behavior--refers to repetitive motions such as arm flapping, rocking, spinning, or repetition of words and phrases) That was a preview for me, a clue the Lord provided to tuck away in my memory for a later date.

It is so funny to think of the way definitions of words change and our attitudes toward them.  Autism used to be thought of as a disease caused by mothers! The "refrigerator mother" label was based on the assumption that autistic behaviors stem from the emotional frigidity of the children's mothers. As a result, mothers of some children on the autistic spectrum suffered from blame, guilt, and self-doubt from the 1950s throughout the 1970s and beyond.  Praise God that is not the case anymore, though there needs to be a heightened awareness of what autism really means, and what can be done to recover from it.

Some of this next information will seem like it is straight from a science fiction movie...though it's old hat around here by now. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

No Harm In the Pot

I ran across this scripture a few nights ago--thought I'd share it and His application for me.

 2Ki 4:38 ¶ And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.
 39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.
 40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.
 41 But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.

"No harm in the pot" makes me want to shout for joy!  The servant goes out, finds food, though he doesn't know exactly what it is (that's happened a lot here in the past few months!) and cooks it just as the man of God instructs.  He's done what he can and things seem to be going smoothly, until one of the eaters of the soup says, "there is death in the pot!"

Frequently, along this journey and through life in general, I’ve felt as if I had a hold on the Lord's will in a particular situation and complete peace about following His way.  I found, however, there were many times when things didn't turn out exactly (at all!) as I had planned. 

I love it when I relate to one of the Lord's examples!  I can imagine that servant pitifully saying, "I did just what you asked...I did the best I could." Or thinking, "I am embarrassed in front of all of these followers--they are going to think I didn't listen to you!"  Or pleading, "I never intended to harm anyone! They are accusing me...please defend me!" 

So many times things are going to "look bad"…not to enemies, but to loved ones that care the most for your well-being.  It will appear as if you have a complete disaster on your hands! Thankfully, the Lord shows us through His Word just what to do when these moments arise:

*Follow Him and His instruction, no matter what.

*Don't try to defend yourself, know you are in His will--let that be enough.

*When things go amiss, don't try to fix it--go back to Him and wait.

When the servant goes to Elisha with the problem, he answers, "Then bring meal." What? Was that some magical meal? No way! Solving the problem was all in going back to the source.  Over and over God uses strange circumstances to display His power.  He "...hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;" 1 Corinthians 1:27

You know what I noticed that was really exciting? The servant wasn't asked to throw out the pot! "Oh, great, the whole thing's poison, everyone will be sick and maybe even die.  I'll have to go out, see what else I can find, and start all over again!"  No, the man of God added something to the huge mess, turned it into a meal fit to eat, and healed the men of their maladies!  The greatest of all, he allowed the servant to be used for the intended purpose--each of those men saw a miracle that day.

I'll get back to James' story in the next blog.  I have seen many "mishaps" in his healing, but I've also marveled at the way the Lord has used it in spite of me, and all to reveal His glory.

May the Lord use you today!