Worry, Autism, and God’s Big Plan

Some of you may know that by day I am a speech-language pathologist with a specialty in Autism, but to be perfectly honest, most days the kids I serve teach me much more than I think I teach them. Their perspectives, strengths, and needs bring a fresh look into a world that can become to automated, predictable, and loud.

anxiety-2019928_1920.jpgI’m also a woman who struggles with worry. Sure, it’s not a sin to have healthy concern, but ‘worry’ is that almost-obsessive fear or distractible nervousness that alters your thinking and behavior. Another word for worry might be anxiety.

The Bible has some great things to say about worry/anxiety and casting our cares on Christ, but really, how can we do that? Life has big problems! Kids get sick, money gets tight, safety isn’t promised, health isn’t secure. Isn’t there plenty to really worry about?

Beginning.pngMy kids with Autism have an expectation when they come to see me for therapy. They know that when they walk in the door of my therapy room they’ll see a dry-erase board with the schedule for their session. The beginning, middle, and end. The whole session is set up in a nice checklist of expectations because…not knowing what’s going to happen next is really scary for these kids. Schedules, plans, and expectations help keep their hearts/minds calm so they can learn. There are so many things they ‘can’t’ control, like the people and sounds around them, so knowing what to expect is important for their peace of mind and heart.

We’re the same way, you know?

God will give you strength... and best friends to remind you of it. And lend their strength too. Saranghae my dongsaengIt’s interesting how this very understanding should impact a Christian’s heart when he/she is tempted to worry. We all like control in some form or other. Managing a schedule or employees or kids or health. Sorting through where finances are going. Feeling like we have our futures planned out and our emotions amiably adjusted.

When unexpected things happen, it can send us into a ‘meltdown’ of uncertainty and fear.

Here’s the good news in the middle of the spin-cycle.

As Christians, we serve a God who is Alpha and Omega – beginning and end. The Creator of all time, space, and schedules. The Ultimate planner. The Keeper of our hearts, minds, and futures.

And though the Bible isn’t crystal clear on exactly what’s going to happen on which day, it IS clear on the beginning, middle, and end…well, there’s really not going to be a definitive end since we really DO get to live that happily-ever-after, but you get my point 😉

God has written this page into the story of our livesThe point is…

Life can get messy, scary, hard, and dark.

Plans may fall apart.

Expectations crumble.

And yet…God has written this page into the story of our lives knowing exactly what happens in the next sentence, on the next page, and in the next chapter.

The schedule is there and the Author lets us know He’s with us all the way.

An Anchor For Your Soul

Life is always changing, isn’t it? Seasons change into other seasons, babies grow to adults, fashions move from one extreme to the next – even the way books are written change. Friends come and go, perspectives switch, jobs dissolve or advance.

Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the fog of unpredictability and worry.

Where is the foundation in the winds of change? An anchor for the storm-tossed soul?

Hebrews 6:13-20 gives us an answer here.

 13When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.[c] 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

 16Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.

Basically, God was saying, “Abraham, I will keep my promise to you, PLUS I’ll keep your part of the promise too. I’m THAT trustworthy, Abraham. You can be THAT secure in my love for you…in my promise to you.”

So when Abraham (or his descendents) broke their promise to God, God took the wrath for that broken promise…in the person of Christ. As verse 18 states, “it is impossible for God to lie”.

We have a SURE hope. A SOLID anchor.

This picture is of my daughter. We toured a museum about the Titanic and there is a replication of the anchor for the Titanic. See how big it is. Looks pretty solid, doesn’t it? But not even something the size of THAT anchor could save the Titanic.

Okay – now multiply the  anchor by infinity and you get the security of God’s love and faithfulness. Nothing can set us adrift when he is our security…because HE’S the anchor. It is HIS strength that keeps us firm through the storm, not our attempts at maneuvering our little boats.

When we start getting nervous or scared about the many changes and unexpected dangers of life, may we remember His love is a sure anchor for our souls, “firm and secure”.