Today I decided to review what Philip learned in church today. I asked him a very open ended question to start, “What did you learn in church today?” “ABOUT COURAGE” “What did you learn about courage?” “ATTENDING TO THINGS EVEN WHEN YOU ARE SCARED.” I looked at the take home paper from church and asked him about the memory verse. He pointed on his stencil that it came from Psalm 56:3. He even spoke the verse when I started, “When I’m afraid” “I WILL TRUST IN YOU,” he continued in his quick quiet voice. We went over the story of Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea as the Egyptians pursued them. He answered several factual questions about the story. We talked about what it meant that God would gain glory by delivering the Israelites from the Egyptians. “SEE HIS HEROICS,” explained Philip.
Talking about Philip’s lesson made me want to find out how much he knew about the Gospel, the story of Jesus’s rescue of us from sin. I asked, “Do you know what the Gospel is?” “GOOD NEWS,” he spelled. We often sing a song I learned during my days in Catholic elementary school which has a chorus that goes, “Good news, good news, the Gospel is good news.” I then asked him to explain the Gospel to me, not knowing if he really knew it or not. This is what he spelled.
ALL SHOULD DIE FOR THEIR SIN
“Are you a sinner?” I interjected.
BUT JESUS DIED AT CROSS
AND FORGAVE UAR SINS
WOULD BELIEVE IS SAVED
“You mean those who would believe in Jesus are saved?
“Do you believe in Jesus?”
I know my son has heard the Gospel at home and at church, in storybooks and Sunday school. But I never knew he understood. Now I know he does! He probably understands more deeply than I know. I rejoice in this knowledge!
As I look at Philip’s take home lesson from church, I see that this month they are studying courage. This week’s lesson of Moses and the Red Sea has this take home message: I can be brave even when things seem impossible.
How applicable this is to Philip's life! At one time everything for him seemed impossible: progress in school, a conversation, inclusion with normal kids his age, a play date with a friend. How must Philip have felt all these years stuck in silence and misunderstood? How achingly frustrating it must have been.
I give God the glory for showing us all things are possible with Him! He is leading us out of the bondage caused by autism (and ironically showing us a way to appreciate autism at the same time). Just as He opened a path through the sea for the Israelites to walk through, He has marked a path for us to walk through with prayer partners, supportive friends and family, and Soma who taught us a way to communicate through RPM and the letterboard. And just as the Israelites demonstrated courage by walking along the dry path formed by God, we demonstrate courage with each step we make in our daily lessons and efforts to communicate and get better at it.
God saves us in so many ways! He saves us from the death we deserved because of our sin. He sent Jesus to die in our place so that those who believe would have everlasting life with our resurrected Lord and Savior. He also rescues us from impossible, difficult circumstances and redeems them for good so that He may be glorified in them. If you think this is impossible, just look to Philip’s life.