A few months ago I had lunch with a friend. The waitress guided us to a booth by a window. John collapsed onto the bench seat. Outside, the skies were turning dark. Clouds threatened to bring a mid-day rain.
John leads a Life Group in our church. He’s a deacon and someone who’s also actively involved in an outreach ministry.
John’s also a father to a bright-eyed, curly-haired little girl on the autism spectrum. Cute…and a handful.
The waitress brought two glasses of water and set them on the table. She said that she’d be right back and turned to leave. Her footsteps faded down the aisle. Chatter from the other patrons echoed around us.
John stared down at his hands. For someone who was never at a loss for words, he was quiet.
Slowly he raised his eyes and in a tone that lacked strength, he said, “I feel useless…like God hasn’t used me for a very long time. His shoulders sank.
I breathed slowly as old memories took over. I remembered the early days of parenting boys on the autism spectrum. Defeatist thoughts about myself. A heaviness in my body. A heart that felt like it was shrinking.
I leaned in towards him.
“John, God uses you in your family every day,” I confidently replied.
I shared Jesus’ words:
“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much.” (Luke 16:10)
It’s the little things.
Jesus teaches us the value of little things. He considered the little things in life important. We see him going to a synagogue to have a special time of teaching and on the way Jesus is willing to stop and let the little children come to him. His disciples didn’t like that:
“Jesus what you are doing is too important to stop for kids!”
“No, let all the little children come to me,” he says.
It’s the little things.
I bring these words to you because if you’re a parent of a child with special needs, chances are that you need to hear the same thing:
God uses you every day in the little things to make a difference in people’s lives.
Did you hear me, dad?
When you’re trying to figure out what your nonverbal son is wanting. He uses you.
When you watch your child so that you wife can catch a break. He uses you.
When you’re helping your child to learn how to potty. He uses you.
For you moms reading this:
When you answer the daily dozens of “Hey Mommy!” He uses you.
When you get up in the middle of the night to rock your sick child. He uses you.
When you’re changing the sixth dirty diaper for the day. He uses you.
When the dishes don’t get done because your son needs extra bath time help. He uses you.
Sometimes in life’s mundane moments, it can be difficult to see that, can’t it?
But it’s true.
God created you in His image for such a time as this. And so today, right where you are, I want you to pray and ask God to show you how He is using you in the little things that you do day-to-day as a parent of a child with special needs.
Because, if you are like me, you don’t think of God using you when you are wiping snotty noses and trying to get laundry done after working all day.
But He is.
He uses you every day…in the little things.
Leave a comment and share with me how God is (or might be) using you today.