Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Peace Comes in Knowing Who God Is

Leslie Basham: Here's one of our listeners, Kathy, telling us what she experienced during one of the storms of life.

Kathy: I felt like everything was dark, it was unfamiliar, it was rough. I thought, God, how are You going to take me through this. Then He turned that darkness into light.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss for Friday, November 1.

Yesterday we heard from a woman named Kathy. She told us about a year in which her father died, her mother was seriously injured and her husband underwent a risky surgery. These are the type of situations Nancy has been speaking about over the last couple of weeks on handling the storms of life. Nancy will share with us in just a minute. But first, Kathy is back to tell us one more event that happened in her difficult year.

Kathy: We have three children and one of them has autism. When she was little, a lot of times, we thought she was deaf. She wasn't understanding us, very little eye contact, tactile defensive, never wanting you to touch her or hold her, just irrational fears, a lot of just social steps way behind other kids, socially very inept. And when they're little you can kind of blend them in. But as they get older, the gap gets wider.

When adolescence hit, it hit with a vengeance. Adolescence and autism coming together is just a terrible, terrible storm. So with Stephanie, all the therapies that I had done, all the different situations that I had tried to help her with--it was like I couldn't do a thing for her.

As her brain chemistry got hooked up with her hormones and the storm came--about every two months she would leave us. I began to know what it was like to have somebody in an institution where you couldn't get through to them--where they would just rock, where they would say angry things, they would become a different person. So we would go through this for about a week. And then she would come back to normal.

Well this went on every two months during the backdrop of that horrible year. And I remember finally at the end of the year, because of what I had learned about God's sovereignty in my life, I thought, You know, why can't I transfer that to my autistic daughter. And, God, why, why are you taking her through this every two months.

You know, it's just, I thought, I've got to trust Him because He is completely sovereign. He's doing this for a reason. And He's perfect in His love. He loves Stephanie. He loves me, and He is all-wise. I don't know what He's doing. But He does and so I'm going to trust You.

Then January of this year she had the biggest, what we call funk--when she would go off for a week and not be there with us. I remember when she came back out of that funk, we were always so happy to have Stephanie back in her old autistic way.

But I remember this time when she came back, I had to pick her up from school for something. And she came running down the hall. I thought, You're not supposed to run. I was always trying to make her be normal, make her fit. You know, that was my goal in life because, who knows, when she gets older as an adult she's got to live in our world so as much as we can--we try to help Stephanie cope.

I remember her running down the hall with this smile on her face and I thought, I'm not going to tell you not to run anymore. You can be autistic all you want. What is wrong with autism? It was like God in a neon sign said, "Kathy, in acceptance lies peace." In acceptance of autism lies peace. But more than that because of what I had learned about His sovereignty, in acceptance of God, it was from the hand of God.

I had known some of this along the way but it all came together for me. It was like a three-corded strand when Nancy said, "What is your theology about God? Because whatever your theology is, that's how you will respond to life's situations."

I remember thinking, I know my theology now. It's that I have a sovereign, loving, wise God. And there will be things that will come into my life, storms that will have a beginning and an end--and ongoing storms. But I feel like right now He's put me in the eye of that storm and given me a freedom to...I can't say, "I love autism," I'd be nuts if I said that. And you wouldn't believe me. But I can say that I love my daughter with a new love. I look at her with new eyes.

It's like God took me out of the cage and said, "You know what? Just trust Me with her life." And I don't know how long He's being trying to get that through to me, but I feel like those funks had no other purpose than for me as a mom to just let go and love her and accept her totally as from the hand of God.

It was interesting because in the beginning of that year...and I'll close with this. I'd been given a verse by a friend because she knew what I was going through. This is the verse, Isaiah 42:16, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."

I felt like everything was dark, it was unfamiliar, it was rough. And I thought, God, how are you going to take me through this? Then He turned that darkness into light. And it was because of His truth.

His Word is truth. And it changes our lives. And I have never been more at peace. I was just saying to my husband, Bob, the other day, "You know, nothing has changed in our life, nothing, to make me so happy, so full of joy, that joy of the Lord--other than that His truth has set me free--and in acceptance lies that peace.

Nancy DeMoss: Kathy has given us a beautiful illustration of how theology, our view of God, ultimately determines the way that we respond to life. She said that there is a three-fold strand or cord that has been her theology. And when the tests have come in her life, she goes back to ground her heart in what she knows to be true of God.

Remember the three points she made about God? He is sovereign. What does that mean? I remember a little child saying to me (when I was teaching just the children some years ago), "It means that He's the boss, it means He knows what He's doing, it means He's in control, it means He doesn't make any mistakes."

Now the fact that He is sovereign means that we're not. We don't know what He knows, we don't have the authority He has, we don't have the rights He has. And it means that we are under sovereignty.

To those who don't know the heart of God that can seem repressive because there's an innate bent in us to want to be in charge--that's called sin--to want to be in control. And since Eve first said, "I will" when God said, "Don't," we want to do what we want to do.

The human natural flesh does not want to bow to sovereignty. But once you become a child of God, you have the spirit of God living in you. And then you are in a position to come to adore sovereignty. Now I tell you, ladies, I do. I don't always, but I have learned to adore sovereignty.

What is my response to sovereignty? It's to bow the knee, to just surrender, to say, "Yes, Lord, have it Your way."

*Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have thine own way!
Thou art the Potter,
I am the clay.

We want to be the potter, we want to be molding things and making them. We want to mold our families and our friends and our environment and our circumstances. We want to mold them to our liking and God says, "No, you're not the potter."

Now we can try and be the potter, but two things will happen. One, we will make a mess, sooner or later. And two, sooner or later we will turn it back over to the One who is the potter.

The time will come when we will realize (in this life or the next) that we were not sovereign. How much better, while we can still choose to bow the knee, to say, "Lord, I accept Your sovereignty. I trust that You don't make mistakes, I trust that it wasn't an accident that You gave me this child."

Now Kathy said that there were three threads to her theology: God is sovereign. God is wise. And God is love. God is wise! That's because He is sovereign. He's sovereign because He is wise. I mean it all goes together. You can't separate who God is--He's wise--that again means that He knows what He is doing. There's no foolishness in God. He is wisdom.

As you read through the Proverbs, you find the heart of wisdom, the value of wisdom, the rewards and riches of wisdom. God is wise. He is wisdom! He knows how to handle every situation taking place on this earth. He knows how to handle all the international crises that are taking place in our world today. And He knows how to handle the little relatively mini crises--but when you're going through it, it doesn't seem mini--but the crises in our world.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find it easier to trust God's wisdom as it relates to the nations and the planets and the galaxies and the world, than I do to trust His wisdom when it comes to my situation, my life.

I can trust Him to keep the sun and the moon and the earth and the planets doing all that they're supposed to do. But why do I find it difficult to trust Him to be wise as it relates to my life, my circumstances? If you believe that God is wise, then you will trust that He doesn't make mistakes.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said that God is too wise to make a mistake. And He's too loving to hurt us--except as He knows that ultimately, it will help us. God loves you. And in the midst of that crisis, God's love is never removed from you.

Nothing can bring it to an end. Nothing can make God love you less, no failure of yours, no failure of anyone else's, no circumstances in your life. Paul said, "I'm persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth," nor autistic children, nor loss, nor loss of parents, nor loss of health, "nor any other created thing, nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She's been teaching us about God's goodness and His sovereignty. Those characteristics are always there even when there are times that we cannot see them.

Perhaps today's program has reminded you about a struggle that you're having with a child. Or you may know someone who is. Why don't you give us a call and order what we're calling The Survival Packet.

We're making it available during the series called Storm Shelter: Finding Safety and Strength in God's Arms. It includes the book When Heaven is Silent by Ronald Dunn. He knows what it's like to walk through struggles with children. His teenage son was diagnosed as manic-depressive before taking his own life. Ronald Dunn writes with honesty about the dark times that a believer can experience.

The Survival Packet also includes the story of Rick and Judy Taylor. Hear what they learned about God's goodness and sovereignty as parents. It's a touching story and you won't want to turn off the cassette interview.

When you order the Survival Packet, you'll also get Breath of God, a CD of Scripture readings to music that will keep your mind focused on the goodness of God. The entire survival packet is available for a suggested donation of $35. Just give us a call at 1-800-569-5959. You can also order on www.ReviveOurHearts.com.

How has this series on the storms of life affected your thinking? Would you let us know?

You know we're surrounded by pictures of what the world considers beautiful. On Monday we'll hear what the Bible has to say about true beauty. We hope you can be here for Revive Our Hearts.

*Pollard, Adelaide, "Have Thine Own Way, Lord!"

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.