“Sir, you’re the saddest happy person I know.”
These were the words spoken to me by a higher intelligent, autistic 10 year old back in 2015. My carefully constructed life had crumbled and, with as much professionalism as I could muster, I continued to teach my class as though nothing was wrong. After all, they deserved a teacher who would give them the best start in life. They were in my care, and I would not let them down, despite the troubles in my own life.
I remember the moment he said it. I was looking for a resource in the cupboard when he appeared at my side. He saw my face physically change from natural to the well rehearsed fixed smile I used on a regular basis. He saw two facets to my character: the deep sadness reflecting the reality of my circumstances, and the well of joy I dug into so that I could get through each day.
Now I look back, on the eve of 2017, and wonder at the transformation in my life. I had faith that God would change things for the better – I just didn’t know how good! New house, new friends, new family, new job, new church, new opportunities… God knew where I was the whole time, even when my faith was weak.
A colleague once described faith, in front of a local minister, as “something people make up when they don’t understand something.” I believe they missed the point. Faith is trust. I trust that the ground beneath me will not fade. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen, despite giving no assurance about things we cannot actually see.
If you are experiencing darkness right now, read some of my previous blogs on hope – there are several with ‘hope’ in the title. I wrote them to remind myself in the darkness that God was with me. My faith was justified.
I will pray for you, because darkness is lonely. There is no physical comfort, no earthly satisfaction in darkness. It hurts; it leaves scars. But I believe that we can approach the God of grace with absolute confidence, and we will receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
I choose to trust in God with all my heart, seeking His will in all that I do, knowing He will show me which path to take. He’s already done more than I deserve, and I pray he does the same for you too…