It was 4 years ago. We sat down with the doctor listening to the results of Gabriel’s evaluation. The doctor told us our son was severely delayed in his language development. Perhaps, she told us, his development may be able to catch up to his chronological age, but we needed to be prepared that there is a high probability he will always have development issues and learning disabilities. My mind immediately fast forwarded to the years ahead. What will that look like? Our day to day reality does feel like “one step forward, two steps back.” When we notice an improvement in one area, we discover a new challenge in another. Sometimes I try to look for an end to this … when we can look back on this and say, “That was a huge hurdle, but now, we’re done.” But that may not be for us.
The woman in proverbs 31 “smiles at the future” (Proverbs 31:25). How could I do that when the immediate and distant future is nothing like what I had imagined for my son on the day he was born? Did my friend do that when doctors told her the child she would give birth to would have severe physical and mental needs? Did my aunt smile when the doctors told her she only had a few months to live because of her cancer? How could anyone smile at a future that seems to hold nothing but despair and hardship?
Because we can trust in the sovereign God who holds our future in His hands. We can cry out with the psalmist, “My times are in your hand” (Psalm 31:15). We need to look beyond our present trials and beyond our imagined future. We need to look past that … way past that. Strain your eyes to see. There is something far, far better ahead. Do you see it now? Are we focused and fixed on our true hope? It is Jesus Christ, who makes me smile at the future.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
(Photo credit: Mercy Health)