Hope Trusts God’s Creation

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Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3

In the story of creation, we learn that “God created man in His image. In the image of God, He created them.” (Genesis 1:27). Human beings are the only creation that bears the image of God. All human beings have been uniquely created by the sovereign hands of Elohim- our Creator.  Each one fashioned to bring glory to God.

Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.  Isaiah 43:7

Jesus teaches us in John 9 that God seeks to glorify Himself through all people, even those with a disability.

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”  John 9:2-3

As parents of children with different kinds of disabilities, we may need to wrestle out this issue with God and with ourselves. Can we trust that God uniquely created our child- just as he or she is- to bring glory to Himself? Do we trust His divine design- or are we tempted to consider this an “accident?”

For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.  Psalm 139:13-14

Trusting God’s creation means trusting God with how He created my child.

Moses wrestled out this issue with God when God called Him to go to the Egyptians and lead Israel out of captivity. He was “slow of speech and tongue” and didn’t feel equipped to take on this great task.  God made clear to Moses that even with this disability, He was exactly who God created Him to be.

The LORD said to Moses, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the LORD?”

We can come to rest in knowing that it is the Lord who creates each of our children, with their unique physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual development. We can turn our hearts to His great plan and trust Him to work all things for the greater good. We can focus on the beauty of God’s handiwork and be thankful for what we have, not discouraged by what we don’t have.

Friends of ours lost their third child late in the pregnancy. It was a very difficult loss. When God blessed them with a fourth child, and sustained them through the pregnancy, she was born with club feet. Their attitude has been a great witness to trusting in God’s perfect design for her, even with this challenge.  Their experience through the miscarriage gave them an attitude of thankfulness for this new life, in place of discouragement that could have otherwise come. They are focusing on what they have, not on what they don’t have.

Trusting God’s creation for my child moves me beyond “Why, Lord?” to “Be glorified, Lord.”

Trusting God’s creation also means trusting God with how He created me.

As “fearfully and wonderfully” as our children are made, so too are we created uniquely by God to bring glory to Himself.  He fashioned us to be the mother our children need us to be.  He uniquely placed us together in our families, whatever shape they may take. We can trust that our personality, our education and experiences, our passions and our interests, our strengths and our weaknesses have all shaped us to be used in our ministry to our children as mothers.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.   Ephesians 2:10

One of my favorite quotes for ministry is “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”  We may not feel equipped for this calling, yet we can trust God to pour into us exactly what we need to do the work He prepared for us to do. After He reminded Moses of who had created him, He made a promise.

Now go, I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”  Exodus 4:12

Hope trusts God’s creation- how He created my child and how He created me- all to bring glory to Himself.  He will help us, He will teach us, He will equip us for all He has called us to be.

Creator God, Lord of all, may I trust you with every detail you have fashioned in my child, and in me. Be glorified as your hands continue to shape us into all you’ve created us to be.

Hope Trusts God’s Character

beautiful woman catches little girl jumping in pool against sea

My husband and I and our first born baby had just come home to our little apartment after her birth when she began to get very sick. The doctor told us she needed to get back to the hospital right away. There she was diagnosed with a blocked intestine. In all our fear and uncertainty, with really no idea of what to do, all we could do was what the doctors and nurses told us to do. That involved a lot of invasive testing, an ambulance ride to the specialty hospital downtown, and an 8-hour wait in the emergency room on Thanksgiving Night to be admitted for surgery.  Finally we met the surgeon who would be repairing the blockage. For me, that was when our hope was restored. This very tall, extremely kind and gentle man was known to be one of the top pediatric surgeons in the world. He knew exactly what needed to be done to “fix” our baby girl, and he had the reputation to prove he could do it. Once we knew who he was, we could trust him.

We can place our hope in God once we know who He is. We have to know His character before we can transfer our confidence to Him. The beautiful thing is that God is a God who makes Himself known.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen.  Romans 1:20

A second beautiful thing is that He has made us to know Him.

You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He.   Isaiah 43:10

There are so many incredible attributes of the great “I AM,” that we could spend a year studying them. But there are several that have been anchors for my soul along this parenting journey. As you read through them, think of how He has shown Himself to you in these ways along your journey.

God is holy. “As for God, His way is perfect.”  (Psalm 18:30) The holiness of God should always drive us to humility. An awareness of His utter perfection, infinitely above His creation, should bring us to a reverence that leads to great trust.

God is good. “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good.” (Psalm 136:1). As children we learn that “God is great, God is good,” but it is through years of experiencing the sweetness of His tender grace in our lives that we come to a much deeper understanding of His goodness. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. All that He does is for our good and His glory. Even in the very hard, His goodness is at work.

God is faithful. “Your faithfulness continues for all generations.”  (Psalm 119:90). God keeps all of His promises. Though we may fail to keep the covenant He has made with us, He will not. He cannot be unfaithful to His promises.  “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

God is unchanging. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) The same God we read of in the scriptures is the same God we love and serve and depend on today. His character does not change, no matter how much the circumstances around us do. Because He has always been holy, good and faithful, we can know He will always be. He is an unwavering anchor that holds through the even the fiercest storms of life.

God is omnipotent- having all power. “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power.”  (Daniel 7:14). God is all-powerful. He has power over all because He created all things. He is the Almighty- strong and reigning over all things. We see His power ultimately displayed when He conquered death and rose again. We trust that He will be mighty to save His children. He will be mighty to help us raise our children.

God is omniscient- having all knowledge. “You have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely.” (Psalm 139:1-2, 4). God is all-knowing. His knowledge goes to the ends of the earth, and to the depths of my inmost being. He knows my every hurt, disappointment, and fear. There is no subject He is uninformed of, no question He cannot answer, no problem He cannot solve.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and they are saved. Proverbs 18:10

God’s name is who He is, His character, His reputation. The “I AM” is a strong tower, and when we run to it, we are saved. Meditate on the fullness of who God is and raise your hope to Him. He is worthy of all our trust.

In your name I will hope, for your name is good. Psalm 52:9

 

 

 

Hope Trusts

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To trust is to transfer confidence from myself to someone or something else. Trust begins with a belief that the someone or something else is worthy of being trusted. Hope begins with a trust that the anchor it holds on to will hold.  When we place our hope in the Lord, we trust that He will hold faithful and strong.

A horse is a vain hope for deliverance, despite all its great strength, it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD, He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.  Psalm 33:17-22

When our hope is in the Lord, we have His unfailing love, His deliverance from death, His provision in famine, His help, and His protection to hold on to. Ultimately we have His holy name. If we can even just taste His faithfulness in all these things, we can begin to transfer our confidence fully to Him. He has held firm and secure from generation to generation. He is worthy of our trust.

Guard my life and rescue me, let me not be put to shame for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.   Psalm 25:21

The world around us offers many things to put our hope in. We can hope in our health, our money, our jobs, our perfect children or our popularity. While these all may hold for a while, we know they can fail in an instant.  If we have transferred our confidence to one of these, we are left hopeless when they are gone.

The greater risk to me has been the temptation to place confidence in myself, to trust that I can take care of myself and meet all the needs of my family with my own intellect and strength.

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD… But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:5-8

Thankfully, The Lord has provided times of extreme heat and severe drought to bring me to the end of myself and transfer my confidence to Him.  Certainly the challenges of diagnosing, accepting and beginning to move forward with a child with special needs have served to break me of me- and have forced me to cry out for God’s help. And He has been faithful.

We can trust God because God is trustworthy. When our souls place our hope in Him, and our confidence is in Him, we find peace and security like the “tree planted by water.” We are provided for. We are protected.

Where are you placing your trust? Is it on someone or something that will eventually fail? Maybe you’re experiencing or have experienced the hopelessness of a hold that has broken for you.  Can you place your trust on the Someone who has held and will hold for all of eternity?

Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.  Isaiah 49:23

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly lean on Jesus name

When darkness veils His lovely face

I rest on His unchanging grace

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant His blood

Support me in the whelming flood

When all around my soul gives way

He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand.