Display of Works

I think I have a pretty good idea of God’s love and His ways in what I read about Him in scripture and what I have experienced firsthand. However, I don’t think that we as mere humans are capable of wrapping our minds around ALL that God is. It’s impossible to compartmentalize God or to think we’ve got Him all figured out in a neat tidy religious box with a pretty bow on top, “If you do or don’t do _______ , then God is going to ________.” Impossible to say. We don’t know, which is why God’s ways are often described as mysterious.

In my Bible study homework the question was posed (not in these exact words), “Do calamities befall us because of something we did in our past? Are we being punished?” Beth Moore gave her opinion along with these verses from the book of John, Chapter 9,

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

After I read that I closed the book and let those sweet words of Jesus’s response resonate, “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Wow. It was as if Jesus were speaking directly to me in response to my prayerful frustrations that took place earlier in the day. Feeling overwhelmed with life in general today I started off down that familiar beaten path of self-pity, “Why, God? Why us?” Since the moment this sweet little bundle we named Nora was placed in my arms and I stared back into her eyes, I have NEVER regarded her as a calamity or a punishment. In fact, quite the contrary! She’s a blessing in so many ways and on so many levels. But there are the days (today) that I wished she and everything else were “normal” (if even such a concept even exists?)

“This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in her,” Jesus answered me.

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How beautifully obvious, and how humbled I am to have our lives, Nora’s life serve as a canvas for God’s works. I’m ever thankful for the sturdiness of the frame–the foundation of my faith that refuses to buckle even under the days of tremendous pressure. Thank you, Lord.

14 thoughts on “Display of Works

  1. This post is so beautiful and just what I needed to hear as I was doing a bit of the why us today. In addition to the tremendous amount of medical problems our 4 year old has been through who has Down Syndrome, our 5 year old is having a lot of medical issues too and some days it feels so unfair. I am going to really hold on to this scripture this week. Thank you! I love these pictures and continue to appreciate and enjoy all of your posts.

  2. I could just SQUEEZE grabby baby!!!

    I loved this post today. I am certain that people who have been forced to endure the effects of Hurricane Sandy pose the same question, “Why God, why us?”… people who have lost their homes, including all of their possessions and a lifetime of memories. I pray that they gravitate toward the a greater understanding than we can comprehend “in the moment”.
    I do think it is important to differentiate, however, between the result of natural calamities that befall us as well as the beautiful creations of God (Nora, born with trisomy 18, my niece with Down’s Syndrome, etc…) and evil that exists as the result of human choices. Sometimes those things are lumped together as God’s doing and then God really hears an earful, which is why I want to differentiate between the two. Many weeks ago, a six year old girl from Denver was abducted on her way to a friend’s house on a school morning. Her practically unrecognizable body was found later. As the mother of a six year old little girl, I cannot BEGIN to even understand what her parents and family are experiencing. And how normal it would be for them to be angry (incredibly so) at God for “allowing this to happen”. I would most likely do the same “Why didn’t you send her Guardian Angel??”
    God gave us the gift of free will. Sometimes we choose evil (clearly Satan in action). For God to allow us only to choose good, would not be allowing us to have free will. He WANTS us to choose him. He gives us many avenues to do so and sends glaringly obvious signs that He is all around. It’s like He’s jumping up and down, waving His arms, begging us to follow Him. But He allows us to choose.
    In times when the evil actions of one human, or a group of humans, affects our lives, God steps in and comforts us, holds us and works hard to see us through. He hurts when we hurt. He is doubly hurt when one of His children causes the pain. This is so hard to see in the midst of such intense suffering.
    Nora is perfectly created, with clear purpose and design and of course, I do not have to be telling her mother this 🙂
    As always, thank you for your awesome, insightful posts. I cherish the messages as well as our discussions… BTW, I’ll bring the book we discussed on Thursday… finally finished it 🙂

  3. I have been following your blog ever since Nora was born and read every single one of them. I have re-found God through Nora so I know for me God is displayed through her. My sons are both healthy, but am going through a different struggle and that is a custody battle with my ex. My world was turned upside down a year and a half ago when I found out my husband was cheating on me for 2 years. I didn’t think that an affair would happen to ME, but it did. And now the battle for the kids is unbelievable and the amount of money spent on lawyers is out of this world. I had my life completely wiped away from me in a matter of months. I am trying to rely on God, but it is hard and I’m glad to see others struggle with it as well. To have your husband betray you and then try to take everything away from you and not be the man you thought he was is a hard thing. I pray for Nora everyday and am glad she is doing so well!

  4. SO beautiful how God works right when we need to hear from Him. What a blessing that He encouraged you with that verse. I love how you live authentically and real before the Lord. You are always so encouraging!! And the Lord is using precious Nora for His Glory for sure. What a blessing she is.

  5. Little Miss Nora (Miss Gabby; Miss Sqeekey) is so busy going after the big red light. Looks like she just wants to sit up and grab it. Neat blog today. I loved it.

  6. Wow, I got goosebumps! Yesterday our pastor preached about the sovereignty of God and specifically over the election, but at one point mentioned how we need to preserve the sanctity of life. He very blatantly said that God created every life just as He had intended. He quoted exodus 4:11 which says: The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?

    Anyways, all that being said – as he was preaching I immediately thought of Nora and the verse from John 9 because I LOVE that verse. And I was just reminded and encouraged how marvelous his works truly are and the beautiful little blessing (aka Nora) He uses to display his purposes. So simple, yet so profound!

  7. WOW, DID I EVER NEED THIS BLOG. WE HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH SOME SICKNESS IN MY FAMILY, AND ALSO IN OUR FAMILY. YOUR BLOGS HELP ME TO KEEP SMILING AND LOOK FOR THAT SILVER LINING IN EVERY CLOUD. I USE TO TELL MY BOYS WHEN THEY WERE YOUNGER, “WELL THERE IS THE SILVER LINING IN THAT CLOUD.” A COUPLE OF TIMES THEY WOULD SAY I KNOW MOM THERE IS THE SILVER LINING. THAT SWEET LITTLE NORA AND HER BEAUTIFUL MOMMY BRINGS SO MUCH HAPPINESS INTO A LOT OF PEOPLE’S DAYS. THANK YOU ALEISA FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SHARE SO MANY THINGS WITH US. YOUR FAITH IS OUTSTANDING!!!! I LOVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SO MUCH, AND WE HAVE NOT YET MET. BUT I FEEL LIKE I HAVE KNOWN YOU MOST OF YOUR LIFE, SINCE I AM MUCH OLDER THAN YOU. THE PICTURE OF NORA WITH THE BALL LIT UP IS SO VERY GOOD. ALSO THE VIDEO IS ONE THAT I SMILED ALL THE WAY THROUGH. SHE REALLY LIKES TO HIT THAT BALL AND MAKE IT LIGHT UP. MY GRANDCHILDREN HAD A LOT OF FUN WITH THOSE LIGHT UP BALLS. I PRAY YOU ARE SLEEPING REALLY GOOD RIGHT NOW, AND THAT ALL OF YOU GUYS GET A VERY GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. GUESS I WILL BE HEADING THAT WAY TOO. KIND OF TIRED TONIGHT. MY HUSBAND AND I WENT TO VOTE TODAY, BECAUSE TOMORROW IS SUPPOSED TO BE CHILLY AND A CHANCE OF RAIN. THOUGHT TODAY WAS A BETTER IDEA TO VOTE, INSTEAD OF TOMORROW. IT TOOK US ONE AND A HALF HOURS. PROBABLY WOULD HAVE TAKEN A LOT LONGER TOMORROW. LOVE YOU ALL. GOOD NIGHT AND GOD BLESS.

  8. When I looked at the pics of Nora and the glowing ball, the first thing that came to my mind was that it looked like God’s Power over her, and watching her. She was reaching out to God’s glory and His healing power.

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I am moved by your story and by your abiding faith in Jesus. I heard a sermon last year on this passage of Scripture and wanted to share it with you. I pray that it will encourage your heart as you care for your beautiful daughter. She is truly a gift from God. The sermon is called “Why Was This Child Born Blind?” Here’s the link to watch it:
    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/why-was-this-child-born-blind

  10. One more thing 🙂 There is also a disability conference called “The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability” hosted by Desiring God which is going on tomorrow (Nov 8). The conference will be live-streamed here: http://www.desiringgod.org/live

    Here’s more info about the conference:
    http://www.desiringgod.org/events/regional-conferences/2012-minneapolis

    I pray that it will greatly bless and encourage you!

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