Perfect timing. Perfect placing. Perfect Plan.
When Taylor and Chris Fisher brought their young son Oliver to Disney World, they never imagined that they were about to be used as instruments of the Lord.
It all began with the Fisher’s simple request, “Would you take our picture?”
The couple who took the Fisher’s picture returned only a few minutes later. Their one-year-old son Duke had died just months before, and today was his birthday. Moved at how much Oliver reminded them of their own son, the couple asked if they could take him on a Disney shopping spree in honor of their son’s birthday. The Fishers agreed.
Grieving a Lost Child
Losing a child can feel like losing your own life: The devastation, the emptiness. Sadness. Fear. Anger at God, at yourself. The desire to hide from others, hide from yourself, and even hide from God.
In the Gospel of Luke, we are told, “For they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God…” and Revelations 24:4 assures us that, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” If there were ever an example of this divine promise, it’s in the story of young Oliver.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,” proclaims Psalms 147:3, and in the Book of Mathew we read, “Blessed are those that mourn. For they shall be comforted.”
In accordance with His divine plan, the Fishers offered an “ointment” to help heal the grieving couple’s wounds: an act of kindness that facilitated acceptance and closure for the couple. And to remind them that Duke is in the loving arms of God now. He has no pain – he is at rest.
Surrendering to the Peace of God
“…In that moment I was so overwhelmed with peace, a peace that only God can provide, that I handed my little boy over and watched as he held the hands of these two people whom my heart suddenly felt so connected with,” remembers Taylor Fisher.
Taylor listened to that still, small voice inside her heart as I Kings 19:12 taught her to do. In this instant, God was speaking to her. And she chose to surrender to her higher calling.
We as Christians sometimes think we know the best way. We create a plan and map out our goals. We may develop tunnel vision around the steps to reach these destinations in our lives. And yet, if we pause to listen to that still small voice inside our hearts — the voice of God — we might just find greater things than we ever imagined possible.
Surrendering takes a great act of courage. Proverbs 16:3 commands, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Surrendering doesn’t demand that we not create plans or map out our goals. As we see in Proverbs, surrendering means planning, doing and achieving with an open heart. But we need to always keep our hearts attuned to the Lord’s message, as Taylor did.
Showing Gratitude in All Things
It’s easy to overlook all of the things we have to be grateful for. To put it into perspective: if everything you did not give thanks for yesterday disappeared today, what would you have left? Did you thank God that you have two healthy legs that allow you to walk to your mailbox? Did you give thanks for your healthy organs? Did you thank the Lord for your job to be able to pay the bills and put food on the table?
If you’re like many of us, it likely slipped your mind.
Second Corinthians 9:15 declares, “Thanks therefore be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” God’s gifts can be seen all around us, through the:
• smile of a friend
• health of our bodies
• safety of our families
• kindness of strangers
• laughter of a child
As Christians, we are reminded to give thanks for both the small and big gifts in our lives. Taylor extended gratitude for the opportunity to be an instrument of God, and the couple gave thanks for the gift of healing through the kindness of strangers and laughter of a child.
Coming Together in Prayer
“…we all stopped in the middle of the store. We held each other and we prayed. God’s presence was so real and we worshiped and praised Him for His ultimate design, for it was only God who could have brought us together. As we left Sally [the grieving mother] told us that she prayed that God would send her closure and tonight was her gift from God. After tonight she could start to move on. To heal.” The Fishers and the couple were able to recognize the blessings they both received on this day.
Matthew 18:20 states, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” In good times and in bad, may we rest in the knowing that God comes to those who are willing to pause and listen. Listen to that still, small voice inside your very own heart.
~ 1776 Christian