A good friend of mine (well we are good friends in that even though we don’t talk much, we could easily have deep conversations that cover much ground) had a chance to preach from the main stage of NorthPoint Community Church today (Sunday). This is a big deal, how many people will hear him speak? I would guess it is upwards of 60,000, that is the reach of Northpoint church these days (30,000+ in seats and its equal via internet and other broadcasts). He started the sermon with a little bit of nervousness in his voice… how could you avoid it, but finished powerfully.
His message – Thank you God for autism.
I remember the days when he was in my office getting adjusted regularly, and the days we would work hard to get his children to relax on the table to get their adjustments. The effort was harder than most, because both of his children have autism. We used to sit in the “Serene Bean” and talk about productivity. He was early on in his work in the church world, and he had a lot to juggle. We would discuss ways for him to increase productivity and keep control of the important things. Funny, now at times I feel like I should be sitting having those same talks with him talking me down off my work crazed life.
But his message today is what I want to discuss. This because I believe that he and I have a very similar outlook on the difficult moments in life. And I don’t necessarily believe we are “special” because of this outlook, I simply believe that we have a deep belief in God’s word. And because of that belief, we have gone to the next level of accepting that God has a sincere plan in all things, good or bad. Hence the title of my post.
It was just over 8 years ago that the hockey puck hit my left eye, and took y sight. It was awful at first, the headaches, the light sensitivity in my good eye, and the hope of getting sight restored, but nothing came back. Along the way, Andy and I went out to a few healing revivals, and looked for God to show up and give a miracle. It was a good time, a time of hope and pursuit. But at the same time, I was decently content. One night, while at a revival, I heard the clearest voice of God that I have ever heard. ”Not now”. I found Andy and let him know that I was done pushing for healing at revival’s. I would trust that not now means “someday”, and I will trust that I am to be confident in that, but that I also was given a direction.
Well. Fast forward a few years, and I am sitting on the edge of my daughter’s bed, and she is telling me “I wish God would give you your sight back”, and I am telling her “I would love to see you in full 3D again”, when I gave her the truth of it. ”My blindness is a blessing”. I have struggled with humility in my life, and this has humbled me. I have been focused on many things in my life, and this thing focused me inwardly, inward towards my heart, my family, my God.” The truth is, I have a lot to be thankful for, and one of those things is the trial of my left eye blindness, as it has grown me more than anything else in my life.
I understand why Andy thanked God for autism, as he has learned to become an incredible father because of it. And I have completely learned from my blindness, how God said no to Paul, when he asked to be healed of his affliction. Just like he told me not now. He knew there was work to be done, and the work would take time. So. If you are in the midst of crisis, I wonder what you need to learn from the process. I don’t expect that everyone is in something for the sole purpose of learning from it, but I do expect that everyone who is in something, can learn.
Learn to love again. Learn to set aside differences. Learn to give up your stubbornness, or learn to simply be humble in all things. I pray thee well on your journey.
Be well and Be blessed – Dr. E