Wisdom Never Gives Up
No, this is not a pregnancy announcement. However, to me this little outfit is pregnant with meaning. (So. the picture does not show how little the shirt is. Trust me, it’s little. My arm is only so long.)
No one knows (until now) the meaning behind this little boy outfit. It is a personal “stone of remembrance” for me, representing a time of desperation and faith—of disappointment and discovery.
The week of August 10, 2016, was full of hope and excitement for me and my family. My son and daughter-in- law would find out the gender of their third child, already having two girls. We prayed and fasted for God to give them a boy, and I was confident God would answer accordingly.
We also awaited a procedure that was thought to be a cure for Wyndham’s then unknown disease. I envisioned taking down the wheelchair ramp and giving away all the medical mobility equipment we had acquired. I had no doubt God would answer this miracle prayer, as I never gave up. Sam and Leigh Ann would have their son, and Wyndham would be healed. I bought this little boy outfit that says “Never Give Up” to give to them upon the news of a son. I had complete faith God would answer both requests with a resounding “yes.” It made perfect sense. After all, God would be glorified.
However, the cupcakes in the gender reveal were pink, not blue. Wyndham’s surgical procedure not only showed there was no cure after all, but brought on severe complications. He stayed in recovery a very long time because the doctors thought he had suffered a stroke. Disappointment was thick— heavy with confusion. You see, I had never doubted. I never gave up. What happened, God? I never gave up!
Wyndham recovered from the surgery, but not the disease. I tucked the little outfit away, as I still believed God would surprise us at the baby’s birth—the ultrasound would be wrong. “Never Give Up” would prevail! After all, we had been so disappointed with the surgery outcome, didn’t we at least deserve blue cupcakes?
However, beautiful little Colette was born December of that year. I have not yet given her the outfit, but I will in time for summer. (Surely summer will come. I won’t give up!) It will work for a girl, too. (Stay with me, we are forever grateful for sweet Colette.) “Never give up” has taken on a new meaning for me since this time. A much deeper meaning
I am reminded of this deeper meaning after long observing Wyndham’s wisdom. Wisdom that told him to never give up. I’ve seen him persevere through all kinds of adversity. I’ve watched him never give up when he was opposed for speaking the truth. I have seen him face deep discouragement and watched him never give up. I have seen him dismissed from a preaching job, with a baby on the way, no insurance, place to go, or savings—and never give up. I have heard him pray desperate prayers, and never give up. I watched him believe that campuses and cities and neighborhoods were truly ripe for harvest, and never give up. I have seen him believe in and counsel hurting marriages—and never give up. Now, I see him barely able to talk, and yet engage and share his love and convictions—and never give up. I watch him unable to do anything he once could do—and never give up. Many in his situation would have given up. He will never give up. He will live for whatever God has called him to do every day he has, without giving up.
Yes, I bought this outfit to celebrate my victoriously answered prayers. I faithfully reasoned,…if I never give up praying and believing I will see God answer my desperate pleas. Those pleas were answered, just not how I had first hoped. Little Colette (Coco) was meant to be a Shaw. And now no one would ever wish it differently. She has a will of steel. I am confident God has great plans for her. Wear this little outfit proudly, Coco. You were the answer to prayer, and we are all grateful.
As for Wyndham’s illness….I can’t say I am grateful, but I am surrendered, and I trust. I see God at work in mysterious ways. I still believe God is able to heal him. So far God has said “no.” I don’t know why and may never know. Thus, “never give up” takes on even greater meanings. When you are disappointed, never give up.
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (1 Corinthians 13:12 MSG)
Whatever the circumstance, Wyndham hasn’t given up, and neither shall I.
When you are disappointed, never give up.
As long as you have breath in you, never give up.
When you are doing good and opposed, never give up.
When you fail once again, never give up.
When you can’t see your way and things look hopeless, never give up.
When you can’t find an answer, never give up.
When you think God hasn’t heard you, never give up.
He is there. He is with us. He never gives up on us. Wisdom never gives up. Wisdom knows the reward that lies beyond disappointment.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.
38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (Hebrews 10:35-39)
39 But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way. (MSG)
No matter how tempted you are to quit. Keep going. Crash though those quitting places. And never, ever give up.
Wisdom never gives up.