While sitting in the waiting room at the therapy offices, I get a lot of lessons. The therapy offices to which I am referring, are for therapists who work with children. Our grandson Joseph gets both occupational therapy and speech therapy, and sometimes I get to take him. Joseph is on the autism spectrum, and these therapists work hard to help him. It’s often slow progress, but it’s progress!
Truly, I could write several pages of watching the children in the waiting room. They are amazing to watch. They are determined to overcome.
This week, as we were waiting for Joseph’s therapist to come take him back, Joseph began playing with a toy that is similar to a house. A child can climb through the door, and to the “inside of the house.” As Joseph climbed through, he saw the light switch, and said, “Turn on the light.” And, he did. Then he said, “Turn off the light.” And, he did. Then he went back “outside the house.” Joseph stood up and said, “Good job, Joseph,” and clapped for himself.
I smiled, and I almost teared up. Two years ago, this would not have happened. Two years of hard, repetitive work is being rewarded. Hard. Repetitive. Work.
Joseph reminded me of two things that day.
First, if we continue with hard, repetitive work, results will come. Even if they are slow, they will come. It takes work to see results. So many want the reward without the work and commitment, both in the natural and the supernatural. Thank God for His Spirit and His power! But, that doesn’t mean results are automatic. It often takes hard, repetitive effort, and sometimes the results can be slow in coming.
Too often, people give up on their dreams and prayers, because it doesn’t come quickly, or easily. I am so thankful that none of us gave up when Joseph did not see quick results. Today, we are seeing results, because his parents, his extended family and his therapists refuse to give up! I know we will yet see more growth in Joseph, but it will take prayer and hard, repetitive work.
Second, we need to pat ourselves on the back occasionally. Joseph has had many pats on the back, and much applause from his family and therapists. When he masters a new thing, we applaud, no matter how small the thing is. We get excited and celebrate the smallest victories. This has taught Joseph to celebrate his own victories, no matter how small.
So often, we stay sad and depressed because no one is patting us on the back. Look at your life? Have you made forward progress? Have you grown as a person and a believer? Then stop right now, and applaud yourself. I am not talking about an attitude of bragging and arrogance. I am talking about looking at where you used to be, and where you are now! Don’t wait on someone else to clap. Stand before God and clap, thanking Him for the progress you have made, and are making.
Those who have heard me as a speaker, know that I will often break into song in the middle of a message. One of my favorites to sing out:
If you could see where Jesus brought me from to the place I am today.
Then you would know the reason why I love my Jesus so!
Trust me, writing it doesn’t have the same effect as singing it!
Don’t beat yourself up today. Today, stop and thank God that you are not who you used to be. Even if you feel your progress is slow, rejoice! Why not join heaven today in a song of rejoicing over YOU!
“The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”- Zephaniah 3:17