SOME GOD THINGS Andy Hollifield 10-14-17
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Anyone that knows me personally will probably not believe that I ever get to where I don’t have anything to say but it does happen. There are times when I start to write these posts that I just get completely at a loss. I think professionals call it writers block but since I’m not a professional I will just call it a brain freeze. As I sat down to write this I had no idea what I could write to be an encouragement. I keep a small notepad in my bible cover and always write down a note when someone says something that strikes a chord with me. At times like this, I take out my pad and read through my notes but it seemed this time like nothing clicked. As I sat there I began to think about guardian angels and then it hit me; there are a few times in my life when God showed me things that I would not have dreamed would ever happen. I thought I would share just a few of those with you and I hope it helps you to read it as much as it will help me to write. I believe the apostle Peter said of his epistles, “in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:( 2 Peter 3:1).” So please excuse me while I stir up my mind by remembering what God has done for me.
As I was thinking about angels, I recalled to mind a Saturday night when Tyler was very young. He was so young that he was still sleeping in one of the plastic race car beds that used a crib mattress. He had been in bed for an hour or so and I was sitting up studying my bible. Even though his bedroom door was shut, I could hear him talking. Keep in mind that Tyler was pretty much non verbal until he was about 7. I decided I would get up and check on him because I thought he might have gotten scared or maybe needing something. I eased his bedroom door open and asked him, “Who are you talking to son?” He replied “Man”. I said “What man?” I was afraid maybe someone had come through the window but a quick glance revealed that there was no one there. He responded and said “there”. I can’t remember if he pointed or not but I noticed he had his stare fixed in the upper corner of the room. I looked and saw no one and it finally dawned on me what was going on. I said to him, “Ok, you just go ahead and talk to him.” What occurred to me was that apparently since he could barely talk and was hard to understand, God had just let his guardian angel come down to talk to him. Needless to say, I just eased the door shut and went back to what I was doing. I sat there for a few minutes and just had to thank God that even though I had thought that Tyler’s world was probably really lonely since he couldn’t talk, God sent his angel to keep him company and talk to him. After he got to where he could talk a little, he never said that again. I realized that God and Tyler, and his angel, had a special relationship that only they could share. That brought me great comfort knowing that Tyler wasn’t locked in his mind by himself and had God and probably the host of heaven, to come down at night and visit with him.
I don’t know if any of you have an autistic child, but you can’t begin to imagine what that did for me. There was another time several years later, when Tyler was probably close to 10, that a similar situation occurred. Again on a Saturday night and I was studying again and heard Tyler begin to talk. Again I eased open his door and asked him the same question that I had a few years before. I asked if he was ok and who he was talking to. He responded like he thought I should have known who he was talking to. He just said “God.” I said “Ok son, good night.” I was just glad that something had apparently stuck as we were trying to raise him and train him up. I just began to wonder in my mind just how long him and God had been talking like that.
I have one more that I want to mention. This one happened early in the beginning of his sixth grade year. We went to an Open House at the Progressive Education Program at Valley Springs Middle School. His teacher told us that her and Tyler were going to sing “I’ll Fly Away” together at the end of the year talent show. I remember my exact words. I told her, “Good luck with that”. We had been to numerous programs throughout his whole academic career and saw him just stand there quietly if he even stood with his class at all. As the year was drawing to a close, they scheduled their program and it was during the day and I wasn’t eager to take off of work and go watch him just stand there again. Diane was able to get off for a couple of hours so she went to watch him. She told me that when they called his name, he walked up there and took that microphone like it belonged to him. The account his teacher gave me was one of those things that gets you all watery eyed. She said that they started the soundtrack and she stood back to where the microphone wouldn’t pick her up but where he could still hear her. She told me that he sung 2 verses and by the time he finished there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
The great thing about that program at school was that it started something. Tyler has been singing in church ever since that day. He has learned multiple songs and goes and sings at three nursing homes per month. Now, he is an avid gospel music fan and his favorites are Bill Gaither and also Charlotte Ritchie. He has met both of them and has met Charlotte several times and she even sung with him out on the concourse in the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University. He enjoys it so much that when he is called on to sing at church, he will call out one of the ladies at church and get her to help him. There have been people who have never sung in front of people before, that when he asks, they gladly go because he asked them. Out of all three of us, he is the favorite of everyone in the homes we go to. He listens to gospel music constantly and when we take him to see a concert, the singers are always super gracious to have their picture made with him.
The greatest thing happened on Saturday night March 14th of 2015. While he was walking on the treadmill that night, he was watching one of the Gaither Homecoming programs. When he got off of the treadmill, he told his mom that the Lord just saved him. She came and told me and after asking him all the usual questions, I am satisfied that he did and Tyler still talks about it. He said the Spirit spoke to him and he prayed and got saved.
If you only knew all of the health issues as well as the speech problems he has had, you would know why all of this means so much to me. God has taken Tyler’s autism and used it to make him the sweetest, loving, young man you could ever hope to meet. He has the best disposition of anyone I have ever seen and people are just drawn to him everywhere he goes. When asked how he is immediately after getting out of bed, his answer is always “wonderful!” He always smiles and even chuckles when he talks. I remember when he was less than a year old that his mom asked me one night, “Will my baby ever smile?” I told her that he would but little did I know what a happy and joyful person he was going to turn out to be. Thank you for indulging me and letting me share some of my “God Things” with you. Sometimes it does us good to “stir up our pure minds by way of remembrance.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!