You Rest While We Pray
You rest while we pray.
This text was the first in a long thread to lighten my spirit. The thread began the day before when a couple in our church small group sent devastating news about the death of their grandbaby. Our small groups members rallied around them. We sent encouraging words, prayers, emojis, more encouragement. All delivered via text rather than in person.
Over the next few days, the grieving grandparents sent more texts with more bad news. We responded with more pandemic-style support, all of us wishing we could be at their side. One more desperate text arrived: “We are all exhausted. Please ask others to pray.” And then the response from a mother in our small group who had lost a baby many years ago.
You rest while we pray.
Her words are the special needs equivalent of the story of Moses in Exodus 17: 8-13 when Joshua led men to battle against their enemies. Moses watched the battle, and as long as his arms were raised, the battle went well. When he tired and lowered his arms, the soldiers faltered. Finally, two friends of Moses stood on either side of him and supported his arms until the battle ended in victory.
Her words are also the pandemic equivalent of this story. We can’t be in the waiting room with parents whose children are undergoing surgery or tests.
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Jolene Philo is both parent and daughter of loved ones with special needs and disabilities, as well as a former educator who worked with children for 25 years. She’s written several books about caregiving, special needs parenting, and childhood PTSD, including the recently released Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilties, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman. She speaks internationally about caregiving and parenting children with special needs and blogs at www.DifferentDream.com. Jolene and her husband live in central Iowa.
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