Sunday, January 27, 2013

Your Special Needs Child - The Painful Songs

There are some songs that I just can't sing.

This morning in church, one of them came onto the screen.

Come, all ye pining, hungry, poor, 
The Saviour’s bounty taste; 
Behold a never-failing store
For every willing guest. 

I was already in the last row of the sanctuary, but I slipped out the backdoor before anyone caught sight of my tears.   Off to the bathroom I went to bury my face in tissues.  

A call to the hungry to be fed by Jesus evokes painful reminders of my daughter's condition -- her inability to eat, her body's rejection of food, her tears whenever I announce "mealtime!"   Would my daughter ever know the beauty of Jesus filling her soul if she couldn't understand how food fills the body?  Would she ever cherish verses like "taste and see that the Lord is good," if, in her mind, tasting is never equated with good?

Songs referencing the goodness of food only remind me of the brokenness in my world; how the Fall has affected my child.   For Joanna, food is punishment.  

I remember talking with a dear friend, years ago, whose oldest son has autism.  Unable to speak at a conversational level, she recalled how she still couldn't bring herself to sing, "Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" without dissolving into tears.   You see, her son has never been able to sing his great Redeemer's praise.  And that's not likely to change.  

I didn't get it then -- how a song of praise and worship could evoke such deep heartache, such longing.

I still don't understand completely, but I have my own songs that I still can't sing.  

At least not yet.  

But Heaven is coming.  

And all things broken will be restored, and all Scripture unfulfilled will find its fulfillment in the eternal throne room of God.

I don't know much about Heaven.  But I do know that there will be a feast -- a great wedding feast, celebrating the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride.  And Lord willing, my daughter will be at that feast.  And she will dine with her Beloved, she will enjoy it for eternity; She will taste, and know that her great God is good, and that Jesus fills her soul.  

Do you have songs that you can't sing?  Songs that, instead of evoking praise, evoke tears?  Songs that remind you of an unfulfilled longing?

Hold on.  You will one day sing.  

Heaven is coming.


  1. What a beautifully bittersweet reminder that one day there will be no more heartache and no more tears.

    I had a dear friend who passed away a little over a year ago. She died as a result of Lou Gehrig Disease... an awful, slow death where her ability to move her muscles was gradually diminished until she could no longer even breathe. A few weeks before she went to be with Jesus I can remember singing the song 'Marvelous Light.' To this day I can't hear the words to the second verse without choking up: "My dead heart now is beating, my deepest stains now clean. Your breath fills up my lungs, now I'm free, now I'm free. Sin has lost its power, death has lost its sting..." My friend left this world unable to fill her lungs... now she's free and singing God's praises.

  2. I continue to pray (almost daily) for sweet Joanna as I'm sure many others do as well. We can relate to your trial as we watch our Luke struggle to progress and are reminded daily of the damage the stroke caused. I know God CAN heal Luke, restore his brain, strengthen his nerves and muscles that would allow him to walk and talk, but I also know that because of Luke and Joanna, people continue to come to our Lord in prayer, some even saved. We'll never know in this life what He has accomplished through them but can be thankful for the encouragement we do see (this blog and the impact it has on all of us)and He's not done yet. This makes it seem worthwhile, God has a plan for your daughter and my grandson, He's not healing them with good reason, they are right where He wants them to be. I have to remind myself of these things (which I'm doing right now) and remember that we are told not to worry about tomorrow. It's natural for us to want things perfect in this world, especially when it comes to our children, but we know God IS Sovereign and in that there is great peace. He knows what He's doing, we know His love for us and the kids is great. Hang in there little Sister, these struggles are temporary, His Grace as we both know first hand, is sufficient. Thanks for the post, you have my Faith jacked up this Monday morning. More accomplished - to Him be the Glory.

  3. I can never finish singing "Be still, My Soul."

    "Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
    Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
    Leave to thy God to order and provide;
    In every change, He faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
    Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

    And the part that always gets me...

    "Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
    And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
    Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
    Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
    Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
    From His own fullness all He takes away."

    Realizing that the fullness of Jesus is greater than the depth of loss; too awesome.

  4. Sweet sister, it brings me sorrow to know you've joined me in tear-stained worship, but I trust He will be as faithful to hold you as He has been to hold me. Love you.