Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Our seven-year old grandson, Daniel, is autistic. We are blessed that he lives only a few blocks from my wife and me. This close proximity allows us to spend time with him on almost a daily basis. When Daniel was diagnosed with autism at age four, it was especially traumatic for our daughter and her husband. Their dreams for Daniel—the dreams all parents have for their children—seemed to vanish. That was based on their perspective at the time. Hundreds of hours in hyperbaric chambers, myriad therapy sessions, and a multitude of prayers later he was ready for his first tee-ball experience this summer—playing with other autistic boys and girls, some several years older than he. The first game was not enough fun and he nearly opted for early retirement after opening day. But he tried another game and then another. And in a short time-span, he went from not sharing the ball to fielding balls and running over towards first base, handing the ball to Bob who plays first base (Bob’s disabilities prevent him from catching a thrown ball) and Bob completes the play. They are quite the teammates. From our perspective today (and that of his parents), Daniel is a terrific boy—the delight of our lives! God has the unfailing power to bring good from all circumstances that come our way. But what we see as “good” often depends on our perspective. There are times when it is difficult to understand how “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). Yet, with proper perspective we can “consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). What is your perspective of where you are right now? Feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of fewer resources and increasing expenses for the ministry in which you are involved? Having difficulty coping with the realities of cutting programs—perhaps even laying off staff? Or perhaps God has helped you gain a proper perspective—gaining a grasp of the cur­rent realities for your organization and realizing the future will not be like the past. This may be a good time for you to take a blank sheet of paper and draw a horizontal line in the middle. Remember the good things that God has done for your church or ministry and note them above the line. Then, recall the dark, deep, troublesome times that threatened to engulf your organization across the years—perhaps including some current challenges. All of the items on the page can be committed to Him. He is the God of the top list and the God of the bottom list. He is just as much the God of our challenges as He is the God of our successes. Listen to what God is saying to you and your organization through the experiences of this economic decline. He wants to help you with perspective!