Eighteen years ago, doctors told us our son Patrick was autistic, mentally retarded, and might not ever speak. A few weeks ago, Patrick graduated magna cum laude from Pfeiffer University. He sang “Corner of the Sky” at commencement, which is all about finding your place in this world. Those in attendance gave him a standing ovation, and the president of the university cried.
Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). The Lord has the final say about how things will go, and we can trust Him to work out everything from a position of power and authority and a heart of love and compassion.
It is hard to see that sometimes when we are in the middle of difficult or even overwhelming circumstances. But we can trust the heart of God, and we can choose to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). It’s in that process of walking by faith and not by sight that we get to discover more about our loving Lord, and we get to open our lives to His perfect plans. That’s where He moves to do the impossible, and where we fall on our faces in awe.
I know this because I have been there. After all these years, I got to see what God was doing as I watched my son sing at graduation and receive a college diploma. Yes, the accomplishments are amazing, compared to the world’s predictions. Yet, the most blessed part was learning to choose faith over fear and discouragement during countless challenges and trials . . . and in the process, learning more about and drawing closer to a Lord who is eternally faithful and good.
We can count on these truths when we are overwhelmed:
God is able.
God makes over 8,000 promises to us in the Bible. He says He works everything together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). He says He brings beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3). He promises we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). He also tells us He has magnified His Word according to His name (Psalm 138:2). In other words, what He says is on the same level as who He is; He is able to keep His promises to us because He is God! We can put our confidence in what He says because He said it.
When we are overwhelmed, we have a choice to make: Will we trust what God says, or will we go with feelings or worldly messages that would lead us in a different direction. Every overwhelming place is an opportunity to choose faith, to believe that God “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NASB).
God is enough.
When I first found out Patrick had autism, I cried out to God. I told Him how life was going to be so hard for Patrick and how that broke my heart. I told Him I didn’t feel equipped to raise a special needs child. I told Him, “I can’t do it!” That’s when I heard Him whisper to my heart, “You’re right, you can’t. But WE can. Will you trust Me?” I realized at that moment I was feeling so broken because I wasn’t trusting Him. I was looking at myself and my resources instead of my loving Father, who could meet my every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
God is enough. “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32, NASB). When the Lord is on our side, we have everything and anything we will ever need. We have HIM.
God has a plan.
The secret: It’s not about us. The truth: God allows us to experience the overwhelming so that we and others can learn that He overwhelms the overwhelming. He is great and worthy of all praise. That verse in Ephesians 3:20 is followed by, “to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21). The word glory means to manifest [show, display], to give an estimation of. It carries the idea of making God known, allowing Him to be seen.
The impossible place, that overwhelming circumstance, is where Jesus can be seen and experienced by a world that needs Him. When we yield up those impossible places to Him, not only do we draw closer to Him, but He also can use us to draw all men to Himself (John 12:32). That’s the stuff that matters, the stuff that lasts long after the overwhelming places fade away.
Patrick and I now have the great blessing of telling others what God has done. Through our book Optimism for Autism, speaking engagements, and personal encounters with others, we can share with others that: God is able. God is enough. God has a plan.
Whisper those words to your heart the next time you are overwhelmed.
Here is a link to Patrick singing “Corner of the Sky” at the Pfeiffer University commencement. As you watch it, remember, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37, NASB).
Please feel free to share this blog and video link to encourage others about the God of hope (Romans 15:13).
Question: How has the Lord shown you that nothing is impossible with Him? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King