Shifting Ground and a Sovereign God

This is an excerpt from our newly-released devotion book for special-needs parents! Click below to receive a free copy!

God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)

Inside a two-story concrete home in 2008 in Indonesia, I felt the ground move for the first time. My ears plugged as the pressure changed suddenly, leaving me weak and off-balance. A loud snare drum vibration rattled the windows. If I knew anything with certainty in twenty-seven years of life, a few things were immoveable—one of those was the ground. Standing outside the large concrete structure, watching the ground rise and fall in waves before me, something in my brain fractured. After all, the ground moved—my own eyes a validating witness.

On December 2, 2016, my husband and I sat with a developmental pediatrician and a behavioral psychologist when the ground moved again. This time the viewable plane did not rise and fall in a physical sense, but the structures of my life were shaken. Uncertain of why my life suddenly felt fractured I was certain the ground moved, and again I felt weak and off-balance. I restated what I had heard: “So, he has … autism?”

It would be years before I could articulate how I knew the ground had shifted. I kept looking at where I was in life and saying, “This is not what I thought my life would be” and “How could this have happened?” I was guilty of looking at my circumstances and thinking they were a punishment, or worse, revealing maybe God had abandoned me—but autism would just be the beginning of a new path where someone else held the map.

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

This path is harder, longer, overgrown, and hidden. It will be travailed at a greater cost and with a more intense effort. It is the battleground where I will see that while I did not choose this life for myself or my child, the answer to the question looming in my heart is answered: Can I trust God? It is a shameful question at best, but it is an honest question He is beyond able to answer in my heart. Autism is where that question is answered over and over again, displaying God’s power, sufficiency, and mercy in my life. It is the ground where I will see God as my Rescuer and Deliverer, daily reaching down into the clay and mud of this life, through His own unrelenting humility and love for me in Christ.

Dear God, You are the true ground that will never move; You have a good plan, You love me, You will never leave me, and because You are the true ground I will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

DeAnna Gibsonis a ministry wife, Realtor, and homeschooling mother of three boys, one of whom has autism. She writes about life in the Lord as a mother of a child with special needs at www.deannagibsonwrites.com. Reach out to her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/DeAnna-Gibson-Autism-Mom-Blogger

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