No need for “But What Abouts…”

IMG_8045

As a mom of a couple of kids with autism spectrum disorder, I could have plenty to be worried and concerned about as I contemplate their day to day lives and future. Every year, day after day, I observe Jake and Caleb and see them in all of their glory and in all of their struggle. Yet, as I look at things, my kids are really no different from any other kid in this world. All children have triumphant days. All children have challenging days. All children have days that they’d like to live all over again because they were just that wonderful and great. And all kids have days when they’d like to ask for a ‘do-over.’

As parents, John and I are doing our best to raise our boys in a Southern African culture and a world that is very different than the typical American life we are seeing right now on home assignment. We love our life in South African and actually cannot imagine being any other place in the world at the moment. Yet, John and I realize that with Jake and Caleb on the autism spectrum we have to work doubly hard to meet their needs without much support or resources at hand.

It would be a legitimate question to ask of ourselves, “Are we doing enough?”

It would be reasonable for us to wonder, “What is going to happen in the future for Jake and Caleb?”

It would be instinctive of us as Jake and Caleb’s parents to say, “We want to protect them and shield them from the difficulties of this world for as long as possible.”

It would be understandable if we shared that we are concerned for our boys and that we only want to do what is best for them.

Human reasoning and sympathy only go so far though. They are not enough.

My plans, hopes, dreams and even concerns for my children are just that…mine.

“But,” some one may say, “what about….this, that, or the other thing….that are happening right now in Jake and Caleb’s lives– or but what about their future needs?”

I think one of the things I am learning about being a parent is that there are no “but, what abouts” with God. I can trust Him with my children.

In Psalm 73: 23-26, it says this:

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
     New International Version, Psalm 73: 23-26

The greatest gift I can give my children is the belief that their God is enough for them and for every single thing that happens today and will happen in their future in their lives.

But what about their long-term health?

…but God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever.

But what about their schooling?

…but God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever.

But what about their job prospects one day?

…but God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever.

But what if they want to marry?

…but God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever.

But what if they desire to have children?

…but God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever.

But what if the world is cruel, unkind, and unjust to them?

…but God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever.

But what happens when you die, Heather, and are no longer with them?

…but God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever.

The single greatest gift for me to bestow to my children is that their identity, their strength, and ultimately their very life is in God and empowered and blessed by His Son, Jesus Christ.

I may have plans, hopes, and dreams for my children, but as I shared these are mine. My God has so much more planned for my children –greater, transformational and expansive plans! His hopes for Jake and Caleb have eternity in mind. And this is enough for me.

My prayer for each of my children is that they will hold on to the amazing promise that God is the strength of their heart and their portion forever. If Jake and Caleb will do this, then there is nothing they cannot do in Christ!

I truly believe that!

How about you?

You may not have children on the autism spectrum like I do. However, I am certain there is something happening in your life or that will one day happen that you may have some  “but what abouts…” And these are some very real concerns that cause you to question and possibly worry about what is ahead.

How do we answer these kinds of ‘but what abouts….?”

My encouragement to my children and to us all is to take hold of this amazing affirmation:

…but God is the strength of our heart and our portion forever!

This promise from God holds the answer to every ‘but what about…’

There are no ‘but what abouts’ with Him! We truly have no need for them when we have a God and Savior in Jesus Christ who are our strength and portion forever! Let’s take hold of that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: