Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paying it Forward

Throughout our journey with Sara Ashley and her life challenges we have learned a pretty good bit about what is involved in making sure she gets what she needs to help her maximize her potential. Sometimes it has been through trial and error and sometimes through thorough research. It has also always been through prayer. Needless to say, we've learned a lot! And I am always thankful for those who have shared their knowledge with us to help us through. 

As I have begun sharing our experiences, I often get phone calls, emails and messages from other parents and friends detailing a situation with their own child and asking me for my advice. First, let me say that it is an honor and joy for me to be able to share with them and to listen to their story. You see, I love it when God connects people. And though I may not always have an answer, I believe a listening ear goes a long, long way. I have certainly been blessed by others who have listened to me in my times of worry and fear. Secondly, it gives me an opportunity to share my faith and how I see that God blesses us with our children. Despite, and through, the life challenges that are present, God blesses.

I also believe that it is my responsibility as a Christian to be there for others in their times of trouble.
Scripture tells us that God uses our trials to help us comfort others. This gives me such purpose and peace.

2 Corinthians 1:4 New Living Translation
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

What a wonderful blessing He has shared with us through this scripture! When we go to God with our troubles, He comforts us. Through this comfort that we receive from Him, we are then able to comfort others when they are troubled.
The modern day concept of "Pay it forward" is actually over 2000 years old! And people say the Bible is dead?!? 

So what does this mean for us on a daily basis? First, it means that we MUST GO TO GOD WITH OUR TROUBLES! How can we expect His comfort, if we are not conversing and spending time with Him? Yes, he knows all of our trials, even when we don't take them to Him; but if we aren't willing to pray, listen and spend time with Him, how can He comfort us? If we are too busy running around trying to solve everything ourselves (been there, done that!) or if we are too afraid to even acknowledge the problem (ignorance is bliss??), we WILL miss His comforting. And what a shame that would be! This comforting can come in many forms- other people, circumstances, a beautiful sunrise, a special song, or simply a whisper from Him. No matter the form, we will be blessed if we go to Him with our troubles.

Second, God does not want for us to go it alone in our trials. He did not make us to be loners, completely self-sufficient and without need for Him or others (Hebrews 10:24-25). He wants for us to bring our troubles to Him. He also wants for us to support each other, as a body of believers, providing comfort and love.

Throughout life, the lessons that I continue to learn include more of these unexpected gifts of His love.  I receive them through my experiences with my special child, actually through both of my children, and also through challenges that I face in other circumstances. Though the trials may be heartbreaking at times and the answers and reasons unknown, I will continue to take my problems to God. And His word promises me that my surrender will not come back void. I will receive His comfort, allowing Him to show me His blessings through the pain and the joy. And then it will be my turn to comfort others through His love. What a blessing indeed!

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