We tend to dread grief as though nothing good could come of it. But as I've cared for my autistic son, grief has become a friend who causes me to remember eternity.
Compelled to Worship
In the early years I grieved at Christmas. Busy gatherings filled with laughter and silverware clanking made our son's sensory system overload. Many Christmases I had to take Taylor home, leaving my family to celebrate without us. It was an act of compassion I offered to ease his disordered system.
I recall one Christmas Eve in particular. Around midnight I stood looking out my front window watching the snow falling in huge, sparkly flakes. The moon was full, and suddenly I was compelled to worship the Christ of Christmas, all by myself there at the window.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Ps. 46:10).
The True Caregiver
Another day I watched my son all day, knowing something was wrong. Toward the end of the day, Taylor put his hand on his forehead. "Taylor,” I asked, "Do you have a headache?” Quickly he nodded yes.
I grieved as I prepared his pain reliever, sad that he suffered, unable to tell me. But as I cried out for grace, the Lord reminded me He's able to carry my non-verbal son through any pain—even if I don't know about. Over the years I've become convinced I'm not the sole caregiver of Taylor's needs, but merely a shadow of the true Caregiver who knows all and sees all.
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9).
Even the Weak Bring Him Glory
I grieved unexpectedly the day an ad came from the HomeGoods store featuring items geared to college life. As I flipped it over, I discovered it was addressed to Taylor. Then I realized his name is in the system, and he's the age of most kids heading to college. Even though I already knew Taylor wasn't going to college, the flyer brought a sudden wave of grief and big, hot tears filled my eyes.
All lives are not created to give God glory in the same way.
All lives are not created to give God glory in the same way. It doesn't take a college degree or prestige to glorify Him. God uses the weak things of this world for His glory.
Some people are created to care for others—some are created to be cared for. King David had the right idea when he sought out disabled Mephibosheth simply so he could take care of him (2 Sam. 9:10).
Whatever you're going through today, may the Lord be with you as well. May you sing of His greatness at the midnight of your own struggles.
Oh, this cup of grief, I'll sip when taken from Your hand.
But in the pain, I find sweet answers the world can't understand.
Oh, Jesus, precious Jesus, be the comfort of my days.
When grief is mingled there in joy, I'll offer You my praise.