One night a couple weeks ago, I was with Aaron as we went through his normal bedtime routine. I was particularly tired that night, having spent another long day getting me and Gary and the house and Aaron and our caregiver and our dog all ready for the trip back east that Gary and I were taking. Seeming to feed off of my particular tiredness, Aaron was a particular slow that night. I had hit the proverbial wall and just wanted nothing more than to lay my head on my pillow and go to sleep.
Speaking of, when Aaron is this kind of slow at night, even laying his head on his pillow is a drawn-out process. It’s like he’s moving in slow motion as he makes sure his covers are pulled up just right, then pulled down just right, and then situated even further down so that he can ever so slowly sit on the edge of the bed and ease under the covers. His head was still not quite on the pillow as he scooted his body over, but instead was leaning back on his headboard. He even rolled his eyes back in his head like he sometimes does as he EVER SO SLOWLY…did I already say that?!…maneuvered his body a little lower under his blankets. He looked like he was going to pass out right there. Finally, he was situated with his head actually on the pillow where it belonged and his body totally under the covers.
But now Aaron had to get his arms out from under the covers for our goodnight hug and kiss on the cheek. This part of the routine is necessary…arms under the covers, then arms out from under the covers…reaching up for me and our hug and a quick peck on his cheek.
Yet nothing on this tired night was quick. He was as slow as molasses in the winter, for crying out loud!!
So I pulled the covers down for him and in doing so, I revealed my impatience to ever-observant Aaron. He was more awake than I thought as he looked at me.
“Don’t be rushable!!” he reprimanded me sternly.
I had to smile at his wording as I gave him a hug and a kiss. Only Aaron could defuse the situation with his unique way of speaking.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue of being “rushable.” Seeing all the back-to-school pictures going around on FB…all the comments tinged with unbelief at how old a child is or what grade they’re in…and especially hearing the certain sound of mixed emotions regarding a child leaving for his first year of college or a job or marriage…has made me look at the reality of Aaron in a new way. And yet it’s not really new at all.
Aaron had his first seizure a little over 26 years ago. He is approaching his 34th birthday. He is our oldest child and should have been the first to leave the nest for college or job or marriage. But here he is, still in our home and still dependent on us. This is through no fault of his own. Gary and I know that we are on this path not only because of Aaron’s special needs, but even more importantly, because of God’s sovereign will in our lives.
We know that God could heal Aaron, but for now He has chosen not to do so. Over the years, I have quit focusing on healing. I’ve learned it’s far more important to focus on what God has for me on this path, step by step, as I stay in His Word and as I seek to obey Him. I want to hear from God, to learn, to grow, to be more like Him, and to share Him with others. And God has used Aaron in SO many ways to point me to those very aspects in this life.
Yet I am not by any means a perfect example of peace in our situation. I do not walk around with a cherubic smile on my face as I adjust my halo on my head. Absolutely NOT!! I get sad, and tired. I think about our future, and definitely Aaron’s. I get frustrated. Sometimes I wish for things that are not in our picture now, and perhaps never will be. And once in a while, I crack open one of those little doors of my heart and I peek inside, thinking of what Aaron is and what he might have been. Those doors are hurtful and I know not to dwell there, but I am a mother and at times my eyes take a quick look as they fill with tears.
It’s at those moments that I know I must look at God and trust Him fully. And I must let Him remind me that there is a very great reason for our paths of suffering…for all of us, for you and for me as we follow Christ.
Remember the story of Lazarus in John 11? Lazarus was very sick, so his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus to tell him the news. Jesus loved this family. They were dear friends. When Jesus was told that Lazarus was sick, He stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
When we get news that someone we love is critically ill, we go to them right away. But Jesus, instead of taking off right away to Bethany to see Lazarus, purposely stayed where He was for two more days. Then when He did get to the town of Bethany, Martha and Mary both said to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, our brother would not have died.”
Lazarus had died. Jesus could have come sooner, but He didn’t and now Lazarus was dead and already buried in a tomb.
And Jesus didn’t come sooner ON PURPOSE!
We know why Jesus didn’t go sooner and why He allowed Lazarus to die, because Jesus told his followers the reason right after He was told about the illness of His friend. Jesus said that it was all being done so that the Son of God would be glorified.
Aaron would say that Jesus wasn’t “rushable.”
Jesus let the situation continue because He knew the end. Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead in order to point to God…to give God glory…to show all those people another picture of the love and greatness of God.
Yes, it was hurtful to those that loved Lazarus. It was especially hard on Lazarus to die, right? But their hurt and pain was used by Jesus to point out the glory and the power of God.
How many times are we told in the Bible to wait on the Lord? Wait for Him to show Himself. Wait for Him to teach us. Wait for Him to open a door, or to shut another.
For me, it’s as if Jesus is repeating Aaron’s words: “Don’t be rushable, Patty. Quit striving. Be still, and know that I am God.”
I don’t know why Aaron has his special needs. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, or next week, and certainly not next year. But I do know that God is God…that He is good…and that He wants Aaron, through us, to bring Him glory.
We do that by trusting Him, by pointing out the wonderful ways He speaks to us through His Word, and by resting each day in His plan for us and for Aaron.
When I try to rush God…to come up with answers why…to explain and understand everything…to have plausible reasons…then I am not letting Him be sovereign in my life and I am not bringing Him glory.
Don’t be rushable, Mom!!
Got it, Aaron.