“Lord, Are You Sure?”

Recently, my son Jonathan began asking a particular question after almost everything I said. He asks his question, then follows my answer by asking, “Are you sure?”

“Mom, can I go outside?” “Sure.” “Are you sure?” “Yes.”

“Mom, can I eat breakfast?” “Absolutely; dive in.” “Are you sure?” “I’m sure.”

“Mom, can I play X-Box?” “Yep, your chores are done; go right ahead.” “Are you sure?” “Yep, I’m sure.”

“Mom, can I help you weed?” YES! (Miracles still happen!) “I would love for you to help me weed!” “Are you sure?” “I’ve never been more sure. Let’s get after them!”

For whatever reason, Jon is seeking some reassurance about life. Even some of the basics like eating breakfast and lunch, taking a shower and changing his clothes, going out to play and coming in to rest. He needs to be reminded of my assurance, confidence, and steadfast care over his life.

Have you ever wanted to ask the Lord if He’s okay with some of your needs? Have you ever longed to hear Jesus affirm you, your life, your weaknesses, or your wonderings? Having lived with a disabled child for years now, I have asked the Lord more questions than I could count. I’ve asked for His assurance, His acceptance, and His grace. I’ve needed to hear that He is absolutely okay with my mistakes, my tears, my fears, my irritations, my failings, and my doubts. When walking through difficult circumstances, we all need to be reminded that our faithful, tender Lord is never disturbed or bothered by us. Never! Never, ever, ever!

So, if you need to be reminded of God’s assurance, confidence, and steadfast care over your life, why not talk with Him about it? And if you happen to ask, “Lord, are you sure?” you can know that our great and mighty God is absolutely sure about you, your needs, and your life, and He longs for you to seek His reassurance by asking, “Jesus, are you really, really sure?” Yes, my friend, He is really, really, really sure of you!

If you were to ask Jesus some of the pressing questions on your heart, and He were to answer you today, the conversation might look something like this.

“Lord, are you sure it’s okay to cry in front of my kids?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”

God tells us in Genesis 3 that He created life to be enjoyed in perfect harmony, but that sin shattered and splintered this perfect gift. Now, each life on earth is encased in an empty, broken cavity . . . lonely, afraid, and in pain. By watching the tears and grief of their parents, children learn how to accept this reality about the world and how to grieve continual loss. Tears purify our longings on earth, they clarify where lasting hope is found, and they testify that grace and mercy are found only in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 5:6-7, 10).

“Lord, are you sure it’s okay to make mistakes?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”

It’s okay to make mistakes. The Lord tells us in His Word that His love for us is unconditional, regardless of our abilities and accomplishments . . . and of our mistakes and failures. Mistakes and failures often reveal areas in our character that need refinement. For example, pride, perfectionism, self-condemnation, and worry often emerge when a mistake or failure surfaces in our lives. Our value to Christ is unconditional; our mistakes can turn a prideful heart into a heart full of humility and compassion (Psalm 51:16-17; James 4:6).

“Lord, are you sure it’s okay to question or doubt You?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”

Scripture shows us that an unshakable faith is grown through deep and difficult struggles. Our honest doubts and questions are a necessary part of that growth. Bringing them to God allows Him to reveal His unlimited goodness and faithfulness, His unfathomable sovereignty and authority, His unrestrained power and dominion, and His unimaginable grace and mercy. His immeasurable blessings are provided in abundance as we question, doubt, and learn to trust Him, even though we may never understand or know why (Job 23:1-13).

“Lord, are you sure it’s okay to be weak and powerless?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”

In His Word, God promises that when we are weak, He will fill us with His strength. When we are unable, God promises to make a way; when we are stricken with grief, God promises His comfort; and when we are powerless, God assures us of His abundant might (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

“Lord, are you sure it’s okay to feel angry, afraid, or upset?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”

The book of Psalms is a poignant depiction of people pouring out their honest emotions before a God who listens, hears, and accepts. Emotions and feelings speak about what’s happening in our souls. Our spiritual growth often depends on acknowledging them and learning the way of wisdom despite what emotions and feelings pass through us (Psalm 19:7-14; Psalm 46).

“Lord, are you sure it’s okay to rest and take time for myself, even if there are unlimited unmet needs?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”

God’s Word tells us He has prepared green pastures and quiet brooks where we can find refreshment. In rest, distractions are removed and our souls are restored. By slowing down, we allow God to lead and guide us in all our ways. In rest, we surrender to God’s ways and allow Him to carry our burdens (Psalm 23; Matthew 11:28-30).

“Lord, are you sure it’s okay to miss church sometimes?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”

God’s Word assures us that corporate worship is one of many disciplines God’s children need. We can allow His wisdom to direct us through the Holy Spirit and His Word, rather than being tied to the rules of humankind. The discipline of worship is not limited to a few hours in our week but is to be a continual lifestyle. Therefore, we will need to make room for worship with others and sometimes for worship alone (Psalm 1; John 4:19-24; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 10:24-25).

* * *

Is it okay to ask these questions? When my son asks, “Mom, are you sure?” I take in my hands his little face, his wondering eyes, his listening ears, and his look of doubt and say, “Yes, Jon, I am sure.” To you, my friend, Jesus holds out His hands and says, “Yes, my child, I am here, and I am sure.”

Posted in Special Needs and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Colleen Swindoll serves as director of Special Needs Ministries at Insight for Living. From the personal challenges of raising a child with disabilities (her third child, Jonathan), Colleen desires to offer help and hope through writing and counseling to those facing disabling and despairing trials.