Be Still. God's in charge!
by Catherine Boyle, Mental Health Ministry Director, Blog Editor and Social Media Manager for Key Ministry.
One day several years ago, a day like many others before it, the fervent prayer for one of my young adult children was answered yes, while an equally fervent prayer for my other young adult child was (again) answered no. On the same day, this familiar scripture passage was the day’s devotion. The passage intends to convey peace and hope, even on days when life holds anything but. For that day, I chose not to wallow in despair, though admittedly there were some tears. Facing the “no” answer time and again makes you a little less sensitive to the sting, but the sting still smarts. But that day, even though there appeared to be no hope, I chose to have hope. I forced myself to sit still, and know that even another “no" is part of God’s plan, and I have a choice whether or not to trust God. An incredibly valuable thing I’ve learned in hearing "no" repeatedly in prayers for this child is that the love my husband and I have for both of our children has become thoroughly separated from their accomplishments, and is solely focused on who each is as a human. With a long-delayed mental health diagnosis for one of them and an entirely different difficult season for the other, the situations each has faced have driven me to the bottom of my parental ability to make things better. I have been spiritually flattened. The only thing that stands on a flat surface are words on the page. HIS Words on the page. Peace. Be still. And know that I AM is still God. So, I chose to believe that He will nurture my child’s hurting heart. And we moved forward with a new plan of action. God measures our faithfulness by overcoming, by working with what we’re given, not by results. Results are up to Him.
Overcoming is in part doing what we can with what we have, even when part of what we have to overcome are mental health struggles. Being still and knowing that God is in charge also means seeking the gifts in each person. Proverbs 24:3-4 says that wisdom builds a house, and knowledge fills its rooms with rare and beautiful treasures. These treasures are in part seeking and finding value in every person in the family, no matter their ability or disability. Building a family legacy in part means to find the place where each person fits.