Giver of Good Things

“Here you go!” Another dandelion was thrust into my face.

“Oh how pretty, thank you!”, as I held my growing dandelion bouquet in my hand.

Our backyard was a carpet of yellow dandelions and the kids were on the hunt to collect them all.

I would ‘ooo and ahh’ over each one. I rubbed a few flowers under their chins ‘to see if they liked butter’ (I am not sure why we do that with dandelions, but we do.) The kids would be so happy that their chins turned yellow because they wanted me to know that, in fact, they did like butter.

Then they would race back out to the yard to find more yellow flowers.

Sarah, around 4 years old at the time, was in the backyard with the kids and I thought she was also picking flowers. When the kids came up to me with their flowers, Sarah came as well. Each kid dropped their flower in my hand. Sarah was the last one.

I held out my hand. Sarah looked at me, looked at her hand and dropped the contents into my hand.

I was expecting a flower but it turned out to be the biggest bug I have EVER seen!

I screamed, not just a shriek, but a blood curdling scream. I chucked the flowers straight into the air as I got up and ran. I did a dance of wiping my arms and legs just in case the insect was still on me.

(When I was growing up I was playing in a neighbor’s abandoned car and it had a wasp nest in the back seat. I was only stung twice, but now have a HUGE fear of insects.)

Sarah looked at me like I was so strange….she gives me that look a lot! To her, she gave me her gift and she was proud of it.

The kids still tease me about my reaction to her gift that day.

Recently I was speaking to my co-worker who is an Associate Pastor at the church I work at and we were discussing Psalm 51.  Psalm 51:10 is one of my favorite verses, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

He mentioned, though, the struggle of Psalm 51:8b. “…let the bones you have crushed rejoice.”

His comment stayed with me. For days I wrestled over this verse. Crushed bones is pain, crushed bones is anguish. It is place of excruciating pain in your life.

I think we have all been there; that place where you struggle to catch your breath.

What is my reaction, though? In that space do I truly rejoice? Do I thank Him for the ‘crushed bones’ in my life? Or do I complain to Him, telling Him it’s not fair and I ‘deserve’ better?

I come back to the truth that I know He is a good Father and gives me all that I need.

I am reminded of Matthew 7:9, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or, if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

As much as I try to give good gifts to my kids, just like Sarah gave me what she thought was a good gift; I could never out give my Heavenly Father.  He continues to give me good things, and as challenging as this is, this includes a life with autism.

Autism has been a bone crushing experience, but I have seen a faithful Father be ever so tender with me. He has provided and taken care of us. I have witnessed daily the power of prayer of people faithfully praying for our girl. I have seen my faith deepen when the path before me was dark and I was at a loss of what to do for her. I’ve clung to the One who is Faithful and True as I desperately needed Him for strength and guidance. It has been bone crushing, but I rejoice because I know my Father. He is the giver of good things!