Taking the Cup

“Princess, can you be a big help for me and sweep this pile into the dustpan to put in the trash?”

“No, I’m busy reading and eating.  That’s boring!”

“Dash, can you be a big help for me and put this in the trash?”

“Yes, I can!” He bends down immediately and cleans it all up.

(At this point, those of you who are new to this blog and familiar with autism probably can guess which child is neurotypical, and which is on the spectrum!  Not that Dash doesn’t get a heafty case of the I- don’t- want- to’s here and there, but for the most part, he is a very helpful 8 year old boy! )

For most of us though, like the Princess… when we are asked to do something we don’t want to do, we complain about it or outright say “No, I’m busy!”.

It’s still Thursday here in Maine, and this is the day that Jesus had the last supper with his disciples.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it…”  (Matthew 26:26)

I am (still) reading Ann Voskamps book, “One Thousand Gifts”.  She highlights this verse, the part where he “gave thanks”.  I didn’t really get the full impact of that before, but Jesus knew what God was asking him to do… to go through the pain and torture of the cross, and all that happened leading up to the cross.  Knowing this, he took the bread that was his body to be broken and he “gave thanks”.  Later in the garden of Gethsemane “he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt 26:39) And He accepts the cup. He does what His Father asked of him.

It is simply amazing.  He did it because of his passionate love for us.  Because He knew it was the only way to save us.

Can you imagine if he had said he’s too busy?

How many times are we asked to do something we don’t want to do and we complain about it?

And how many times did we do what was asked, and later find out how it blessed people in ways we could have never imagined?

About 4 years ago, I knew that Sketch (then age 2) probably had autism like his big brother.  I was overwhelmed with the twins, Princess Buttercup & Dash (then age 4).  I was daily carpet cleaning Dash’s room for toileting on-purposes and dealing with all the insanity that came with a 4 year old with extreme ADHD and autism, and his twin sister, and a 2 year old who was always sick.

It was too much, I told God.  Too much to let Sketch have autism too!

And it was too much, and it still is too much.  But this was the cup that God was handing me.

I had clenched fists in my strong-willed “No!” to Him, initially.

But as He lovingly and graciously dealt with me, and as He opened my eyes to the fact that He could do so much to bless others through my children, through my too-much…

As He convinced me that He could do more good by allowing this than He could do by healing him…them…

As He adjusted my glasses to see all the others… The other families out there who also had too much, but didn’t have God…

He simultaneously caught and broke my heart.

How could they survive?  How could they go another day without knowing the One who loves them, will provide for them, who will guide them, who will move mountains for them and ultimately save them?

How could they live another day without the Promises that I cling to?  Without which, without Who… I would die?

And then I knew… I knew that Sketch would have autism too, and I knew that I had a task that I needed to “give thanks” for and drink it down.  To say, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

To somehow reach out to these Others and share my God with them.

It was a very hard lesson, one that I have to keep learning, keep reminding myself of, keep striving toward.  Keep re-agreeing to say “yes” to and to see not the too-much, but the blessings that He’s given through it.

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