This week led to some profound discussion in my home. There were topics that seemed pretty heavy for a 10 and 13 year old. “Why did He let them arrest Him?” “Why did He heal the people who were there to kill Him?” Our discussion (as always) steered us in a direction I did not anticipate.
Jesus came to earth for a purpose and it wasn’t so that we could spend too much money giving gifts and sing carols once a year. He came, fully God and wrapped in confining flesh, to do nothing less that offer salvation to a lost world. To save us. To show us the greatest love that the world has ever known. At any time He could have given up. He could have decided that it was too uncomfortable to live a life limited by the constraints of a human body. He could have returned to Heaven. Every day that He lived on Earth he made a choice to finish he task that was set before Him. A task that was more than difficult but had a greater purpose than the suffering He would endure.
Everyone has to make hard choices. As Christ-followers we have the choice to seek out our purpose in life. The purpose that God Himself placed before us. We have to choose to carry on when things get hard, when our lives don’t turn out like we thought they would and even when it doesn’t seem fair or when we think that someone else has it better than us. We have to choose to stick around and not run away, to lean into our struggles and accept them as they build our character and sift out the ugliness of our flesh even as they make us more like Christ Himself. Our choice doesn’t lead to the salvation of the world. But our choice can lead our families to salvation.
One of the choices our family has to make every day is how to view autism in our lives. We could choose to feel sorry for ourselves and to get mired in the why’s. We could choose to compare our lives and our calling with the callings of more “typical” families. And sometimes we do just that. We cry out to God for answers and for relief for us and for our sweet girl. He is always gracious to answer us and that answer always remains “this is your purpose. This is how my Glory will be played out in your lives. This is how others will see Me through you.” This answer is humbling and so full of love that it makes my heart swell.
What an amazing gift to give to my children at Christmas time: the gift of knowing that though God doesn’t always step in when times get hard, He always has a greater purpose in mind. The greater Glory. And if we are patient, and learn to listen and to wait we just might get to be a part of that Glory.