Our son ascended the stage to meet the high school principal. Resplendent in his suit and cap and gown, our family was celebrating his high school graduation. The last month was a whirlwind of activities: Senior prom, Senior Day at Disneyland, and the distribution of the year books. He participated in all the expected activities of his peers. However, one that he did not participate in was, “I Declare Day.” It is a day when seniors wear a shirt or sweater from the college they will be attending in the fall.
Our son was not alone. A few of the graduating seniors intended to take a gap year and travel. Others chose to attend a community college with the intention to later transfer to a four-year college or university. When other parents asked us about our son’s plans after graduation, we proudly shared with them that he would be entering a special three-year program that would teach him vocational skills. My wife and I are hopeful that our son will someday attend college, live independently, and be self-sufficient with a job.
Our son has Down syndrome. As a parent of a child with special needs, our expectations for our son are no different than other parents. Through God’s grace, our son has overcome many obstacles that other typical children do not face. Yet, all children face unique obstacles. Our role as parents is to be sensitive to our children and to accordingly modify our expectations.
What about God, our Heavenly Father? What are His expectations for His children?
In the same way, when you obey me you should say, “We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.”
Luke 17:10 (NLT)
Our Heavenly Father has expectations for all believers of His Son, Jesus Christ. He created us to serve Him in gratitude for his grace and mercy to us. However, God’s expectations of us never change. It is our expectations that change as we learn to serve Him. As we grow in faith, we learn to trust God and grow our expectations. We learn the obstacles that we faced were only new avenues to strengthen and grow our faith.
My wife and I celebrate this milestone that has been achieved by our son. As parents, we desire our children to thrive and become self-sufficient. As believers in Jesus Christ, God desires His children to thrive and become more dependent upon Him.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.