Week One - Tuesday
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”
It is amazing the lessons you can learn while working with children with special needs. Spending your days with children often means spending your days teaching the skill of waiting. Many of our students have difficulty with this concept. When a child hasn’t learned the skill of waiting and they have difficulty expressing their wants and needs, then when they don’t receive immediate gratification they tend to think that surely we don’t understand what they want. The child sees something they want very badly on the shelf but has been told they will have to wait. They simply do not fully trust that we understand their need. I have worked through many a knock-down, drag-out tantrum with a child who did not trust that I understood their need and would do what was best for them.
But, in reality I find that God is often re-teaching that skill to me. I think I know exactly what I need and I try to tell God but He doesn’t answer the way I expected and so I think He must simply not understand how badly I need this thing. Perhaps He does not see the big picture, I think (how smart is that?). Sometimes. I even have my own little tantrum. But God patiently waits while I wear myself out trying to do things my way and then He shows me His way which is always so much better.
Christmas is a wonderful time for us to learn about waiting. We are eager for time off from work and school. We can’t wait to see family we have not seen in many months…and what could possibly be in that oddly shaped package. This year let’s learn together how to wait on the Lord. His promises are secure. He will never let you down.
Do you have a nativity at your house? Try setting it up in a different way this year. Put the stable and the animals in one part of the room, along with the shepherds nearby. Have the wise men in a different part, and Mary and Joseph in another. Hide the baby Jesus. When you read the nativity story, divide it into several sections and read it across the Christmas season. As you get to the part where Mary and Joseph begin their journey move them a little toward the stable. If you have older kids you could research how long it would have taken them on a donkey to make the journey. Continue to do this each day as you read the verses. When you get to the part where Jesus is born, put Him in the manger. Let the wise men join them when you get to those verses. Allow the anticipation of putting the Christ Child in the manger to grow as you all become more and more eager for Christmas Day.