Faith? Why Do People Think it is Complicated?

Anna and her mom

“Trusting God? It is complicated!” we may think. But Vicki reminds us that God made is simple enough so that a child–or a young woman with different-abilities–could understand it–perfectly!

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life (Psalm 143:8).”

“What do you do?” Seems like an easy enough question to answer. Not so, for people whose disability robbed them of their profession.

Except for Anna, a young lady, who has Down syndrome.

The students in my Foundations of Special Education course were learning about intellectual disabilities. I invited Anna to visit our class. My college students compiled a list of questions to ask her.

I began with, “What do you do?”
Anna replied, “Trust Jesus.”
Thinking she misunderstood the question, I reworded it.
“How do you spend your time? What do you do every day?”
She insisted, “I trust Jesus.”

Her response left me speechless. A dumbfounded silence fell over the class.

Subsequently, Anna listed her numerous activities: acting, participating in sports, attending clubs, going to Bible studies, learning to type on a keyboard, working at her job. . . Those activities are mere details in her life. The driving force behind all she does is her trust Jesus. So it’s no surprise she exudes peace and radiates joy.

What a lesson Anna taught that night!

She challenged me to trust Jesus first and for everything: to help me begin my day, to order my activities, to give me strength to do errands, to ease my pain so I can make dinner, to grant me wisdom to make a looming decision, and to fill me afresh with hope for tomorrow.

Anna has got the right idea.

She has perfect peace because her thoughts are constantly on Jesus (Isaiah 26:3).

Blessings overflow in her life because she trusts in Jesus (Jeremiah 17:7).

Anna basks in God’s abundant hope because she trusts in her Lord (Romans 15:13).

Anna’s example may fade into the busy background of my life. No problem. My pocket change will remind me to change my complicated thinking. A quick glance at a dime or dollar bill will redirect my focus.

Our nation’s motto, “In God we trust” gives new meaning to financial security. That uncomplicated message can serve as a simple reminder. Trust a Father who offers divine security.

It’s not complicated. We trust Him. He’s faithful.

Prayer: Dear Father, Forgive me for leaning on my own understanding. As the proverb reminds me, help me trust in You with all my heart. In the morning, throughout the day, and at night. Every day. I praise You that Your ways are so simple. Thank You for Anna’s example. Life doesn’t have to be so complicated when You’re in charge. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31-year-old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness.

Young children also have a way a simply trusting Jesus. Their child-like faith can be contagious. Has a child in your life taught you a similar truth?

Isn’t child-like faith amazing? We could all use time to stop the busyness of life and hear the gospel from a child’s perspective. I am sure this little girl of three will warm your heart and make you giggle as she share the story of Jonah. -Lisa


7 thoughts on “Faith? Why Do People Think it is Complicated?

  1. Soooooo precious & true Vicki!! What a blessing to read this….a breath of fresh air! Reminds me of 12 years “assisting” a young girl with Down syndrome through school. She taught me much too! Thanks Vicki!! 🙂 Lotsoluv Kerryn

  2. Yes, Kerryn, Anna is truly a breath of fresh air! I, too, have learned lots from my former students with special needs.
    By the way, please pray for Anna. A week ago, she was admitted into the hospital because she was demonstrating unusual behaviors and exhibiting impaired cognition (among other symptoms). Doctors initially treated her for Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE). However, they weren’t certain what was causing the sudden onset of disturbing symptoms. Last Thursday, I visited Anna in the hospital. It was tremendously sad to see sweet Anna so out of it. Her mother was exhausted, but still being an amazing advocate for Anna. She’d been sleeping on a chair in Anna’s hospital room so she could stay with her overnight. Since then, I haven’t heard an update.

  3. Oh Vicki!! Poor Anna…..people with Downs seem to suffer with so many ailments over time. Her dear mother!! Will pray. Gentle hugs. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

    Lord, please pour a fresh outpouring of Your Holy Spirit upon Anna & her mother. Breathe through her body & cleanse it of whatever illness is there….only You truly know what is needed. Guide the medical staff to the very best & loving treatments for Anna. Comfort Anna & her mother & pour out Your peace that passes understanding. Speak Your precious words into Anna’s mind & heart to share when she is able. Bless them abundantly & carry them Lord. Amen.

  4. What a wonderful prayer warrior you are, Kerryn! I especially love ‘speak Your precious words into Anna’s mind and heart to share when she is able.’ How I long for God to continue to use her. Also, Anna needs God to captivate her thoughts now…to restore cognitive clarity…to remove any fear Anna may be experiencing simply because she may not understand everything that’s going on right now (the hospital is no fun for anyone, but it can be really confusing for a woman with Down syndrome).

    • Vicki, my heart sooooo went out to Anna! Well aware that with Downs, hospital can be a confusing place & that her brain needs God to speak into it with His thoughts…..not the confusion/illness. Having worked with a young woman with Downs gave me good insights into what Anna would be experiencing. Praise God for His guiding. Believing for Jesus to help her this Easter. God bless. Gentle hugs. Lotsoluv Kerryn PS. Please let me know how she’s going.

  5. Yes, Kerryn, I know you’re a fellow special education teacher. I know you fully understand the implications of her disability in the context of her recent deterioration of her cognition.
    You can understand the habit I’ve developed of educating others whenever possible…always being an advocate. So, I mentioned the comment about the hospital being confusing for Anna for others who may be reading this (to paint a full picture). Many of the hospital staff don’t clearly understand her level of intellectual functioning. When they kept talking about her levels being too low (saying it in a very solemn tone), Anna thought she was going to die.
    I’ve been trying to get an update from her mom, but she hasn’t returned my phone call or replied to my email. When I get a chance, I’m going to send her the prayer you prayed for them. It will surely bless her. I know it encouraged my heart.
    (By the way, that’s me in the picture with Anna – not her mother.)

    • Thanks Vicki, wondered if it might be you with Anna. A lovely photo! Great idea with the educating/explaining on here. Poor Anna, thinking she might die! God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

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