(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 7 of Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore we ask, if you feel like it please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift someone's spirit!)
When I saw that the title of Chapter 7 was Standing in the Line of Fire, I knew I’d have no difficulty relating to it. There are so many battles and attacks from the outside and within that we all can relate to in our journey with autism.
In chapter 7, Stormie describes two different scenarios where we can be attacked by enemy fire. First, this can happen if we are in enemy territory (ie: not living God’s way) or we can be doing what is right in our own territory and be targeted for an attack. Stormie gives us the example of the Israelites being delivered from Egypt, witnessing miracles and wonders as God guided them and fought their battle. She also gives us the example of Jehoshaphat, standing firm in faith, inspiring others to believe that God could save them. Stormie reminds us that we must first conquer our enemy with God’s help in the spiritual realm and that we must draw close to Him and stand firm in our belief in his goodness. Because any opposition we face from the enemy has spiritual power behind it, the battle must first be fought in the spirit before victory will be seen in the flesh. (p.67)
I really liked Jehoshaphat’s declaration to the believers, “If disaster comes upon us-sword, judgement, pestilence or famine-we will stand before this temple in your presence…and cry out to You in our affliction and you will hear and save.” (2 Chronicles 20:9) If I were to re-write this declaration in terms of my personal battle with Matthew’s autism, it would go something like this, “If illness comes upon us- regression, inflammation, yeast flare-up, gastrointestinal upset, behavior problems- we will stand firm in your presence…and cry out to You in our affliction and you will hear and save.”
Once the people declared that they were completely dependent on God, He told them “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15) Thanks be to God that we don’t have to win this battle solely on our own strength, intellect and endurance! I think often about the battles that are waged before us regarding autism: battles to get therapies covered by insurance, battles to uncover and expose the root causes of autism, battles of trying to have your child’s needs met within the confines of a public school system, I could go on and on... As soon as we are drawn into thinking about any of these battles, our first and most crucial line of defense is to go straight to God, and allow him to guide our actions. He will line up and empower the key players, and make divine connections on our behalf so that in following His lead, we may triumph over our adversaries. Stormie writes on page 69, “The hardest part about letting God fight your battle is that He sometimes waits until the eleventh hour so you will have no doubt of where the power is coming from.” Isn’t that the truth! This is crucial for us to understand, so we don’t lose hope or give up before God gives us what we need to stand against our opposition.
Much of the misery of being in battle is thinking that we are alone in it…but you can be sure that the Lord will be with you and help you stand against whatever opposes you. (p.69) It’s okay to feel helpless sometimes, that allows us to realize how much we need God’s help and be in a better position to receive his guidance. When we think of how being in a position to need God poises us to receive greater blessing, it doesn’t feel quite as bad.
“Lord, thank you so much for every mother that has been brought across our path through this site. Bless and empower each and every one of them as they face their numerous opponents and go to battle on behalf of their precious children. Help them to remember that You go before them and are willing and able to bear the brunt of each attack. Draw them to you so that they may rest in their Heavenly Father’s goodness and love and be strengthened in You. It is only with Your help that we can have all we need to triumph in our adversity. May we all take comfort in knowing that You are our advocate, defender and strength. We pray this in your name, Lord. Amen.”