Yesterday was what I like to call a red-letter day. In fact, if I still kept a paper calendar I would get out a red sharpie and circle July 23, 2015 so that I would not forget it.
It started first thing in the morning. I worked with my first student, who is autistic. Just a few weeks ago it was difficult for him to describe any object beyond its color — usually black or blue — and its shape — typically a circle or a square. Yesterday we looked at a small picture of a pile of nails. I took the picture away and asked him what he had seen. He said, “nails”, of course. When I asked him what they looked like, he said they had a circle on the top. “Yes, good!” I said. “What else?” “They are sharp on the bottom.” “Yes!” Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but for my little guy, it’s a pretty big deal. He used a complete sentence and he moved beyond his generic descriptors to something more specific. That, my friends, is worth marking on the calendar.
It didn’t stop there. My second student has been known to be quite noncompliant — to the point of refusing to work, day after day after day. Yesterday appeared, at first, to be another one of those days, but for some reason, we started our session with some talk about her toys and she began to work with me. We were moving forward slowly in our lesson when one of the supervisors joined us to do some ‘pacing’ — this happens quite often. The more senior members of the team come and interact with the students to push them a bit and determine how to best tweak their lessons for the most impact. The supervisor asked me to do a task with the student. I wasn’t quite sure of the method, so I invited her to show me her ‘special way’ of using the materials. I was so glad that I did this — she made several changes in the setting and the climate of that lesson. She worked with the student for about fifteen minutes. I watched, took notes, and learned a whole lot about how to work with this difficult little peanut.
I had two more students before I left for the afternoon. Walking to my car, I checked my phone for messages and emails. We had been exchanging information with the financial aid office at our daughter’s university. They wanted to verify some information we had submitted, so we had sent documents back and forth over the last few weeks. It was exhausting and tedious, but we kept at it. When I saw an email from the officer we had been working with, I opened it to find that the school had decided to give her another huge chunk of grant money — so much, in fact, that she will not have to take one of the loans that she had been approved for!
Then, I received a text from another daughter who said that an employer had contacted her out of the blue and wanted to interview her over the phone — that day! The position is almost a perfect fit for this particular daughter, her skill set, and her interests, and she hadn’t even applied for the position!
And the news kept coming! It was like it was my birthday and people kept arriving with gifts that I wasn’t expecting — healing for this person, encouragement for that one, resolved conflict here, restored relationships there…
Late in the afternoon, my husband arrived home from work with the day’s mail. He was carrying a package from my mother — I had mentioned that my rubbermaid containers kept disappearing, so she sent me a whole new set!
I am telling you, it was a red letter day!
So, I grabbed my dog and my phone and headed out for a walk. I called my mom to thank her for the gift and I started telling her about all the good things that had happened yesterday. I kept saying, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!” She said, “I know it’s hard to believe, but just think of all the time you have spent praying for these things. God says, if you ask for it, He will answer. I know you weren’t expecting Him to answer all in one day, but He answers whenever He wants to!”
Yes, He does! Sometimes the answers trickle in so subtly that we might not even realize that they are answers to prayer. They can slip by me unnoticed, and I take them for granted. But, when He overwhelms me with answers all in one day, I can hardly ignore His work. It took my breath away.
This morning, I did my devotion which I always follow with writing in my prayer journal. I follow a pattern called PRAISE — Praise, Repentance, Acknowledgement, Intercession, Supplication, and Equipping. When I got to the Supplication section I recalled all the prayers I had written for ‘my people’ over the past several months. My mother wasn’t wrong — they have been many. I never doubted that God was hearing them; I never doubted that He had my people in the palm of His hand. But it sure was wonderful to sit in amazement and watch so many answers all in one day.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.