My youngest son is still learning how to speak. Now in the autism community, there's a saying that goes something like, "Not having any words is not the same as having nothing to say." Boy, ain't that the truth! Andrew has ways of letting us know what he wants without so much as uttering a syllable. Sometimes he drags us to the object he wants. Other times he brings the coveted item to us. Sometimes he uses simple signs. He also uses PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), in which he brings us a picture icon of the item he's after. All of these are great communication methods, but none of them exercises his developing vocal skills.
His therapists, God bless them, have pushed him to "use his words." Sure, he can bring us the icon for fruit snacks, but once he's had the first piece, he has to speak to tell us what he really wants...more.
"What do you want, Andrew?"
"Oh, you want more fruit snacks?"
"More! Good job! Here's more."
It's not that the therapists don't know what he wants. Heavens, no. They know exactly what he wants. Could they just hand it to him? Wouldn't it be easier? Well, yes, but it's not in Andrew's best interest to let him have it without a little extra effort. Having to ask forces him to use those new speech muscles, and in so doing, makes him that much stronger of a speaker.
God knows our every moment and every step. He knows exactly what we want and exactly what we need, and could grant it without so much as batting an eyelash. Praise God, He refrains for our own good.
In John 15:7 (NIV), Jesus says, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." Notice Jesus says if we remain in Him. If we remain in Him and His words remain in us, anything we ask for will be within His will. The Lord loves to give us all that we want and need within His perfect will!
Did you notice He also specifically tells us to "ask?" Asking is a deliberate act of obedience. We are strengthening our faith muscles by asking God for what we want and need through prayer. We ask Him for the desires of our heart, acting in faith that our requests will be granted.
God wants us to use our words, too. He delights in them.
Copyright Kristi Peifer, 2011.
I am a pastor's wife, the mother of two special needs children, a performer, and a lover of all things funny. My sincerest desires are to glorify Jesus Christ and to make someone laugh--preferably at the same time.