How often do we complain about things—the minor and major irritants of life? We have too much work to do? Too many assignments? Too much pressure? Too many family obligations? Things do not work out right in this area or that area? The car does not work. Children do not cooperate. The dog pees on the carpet. We have project overload. I think we are all prone to “the grumble instinct”—and some of us more than others. How about you?
This Sunday my family and I worshipped at Northland and heard a talk by a 28-year-old Australian named Nick Vujjicic. Like many other worship services, it helped us “put it in perspective” (after all, that is what worship does, it helps us reorient our lives).
Nick Vujicic (pronounced Vooy-cheech) was born into this world with a massive disability—he had no arms or legs. Doctors could not explain it. They still can’t. His parents had no warning that this was coming at his birth, and of course were shocked. His dad was a pastor. His mom was a nurse. Like every other parent, they expected Nick’s birth to be without complications, just like the birth of his brother and sister who had all their limbs when they came out of the womb. But not with Nick.
Imagine having no arms to put on your shirt this morning; no hands to tie your shoes; no thumbs to text or lift your coffee mug. You can’t walk, run or dance, because you have no legs. You can’t lift or carry things. You can’t carry a briefcase or even hug the ones you love. Imagine how this would affect your life right now. How much more difficult life would be!
And think of everything that God has given you this very moment!
When Nick told the story of his life, it was clear that his life has certainly not been easy. His parents grieved, and as Nick grew he grieved too. He was bullied and teased through school. He struggled with depression and loneliness. He tried electronic and artificial arms, but they were too heavy for his body to operate. He went through a season of blaming God. Nick questioned the purpose of his life.
So here I am sitting with thousands of other complainers on a Sunday morning and listening to this guy tell his story, laugh at his unusual circumstances, and preach about his hope in Christ.
How did his life pan out? You should read his story for yourself. It will put things in perspective for you.
Nick credits his strength and courage to Jesus Christ. He prayed that God would heal him, and he wasn’t healed. So in desperation he prayed, “Lord, if you do not change my circumstances, change my heart.”
Interestingly, Nick unflinchingly embraces God’s sovereignty in the unique circumstances of his birth. He says, “the life I now live is what has been given to me by His design.”
God showed him about the man in John 9 who was born blind and how his blindness was intended so that God’s glory might be displayed in his life. Nick came to realize that Christ could use his hard circumstances for his own glory.
And gradually, Nick’s attitude began to change about his circumstances. He began to try more things on his own—to type, to clean his teeth, etc. He began to have the drive to do things that you might think would be impossible for him to do. He learned to swim, surf, golf and even fish! In the course of his long journey, Nick earned a double bachelor degree in accounting and financial planning. And along the way he began to share his story, and about the power of Jesus Christ.
Today Nick travel’s around the world sharing his motivating message of hope. “Look beyond your circumstances,” he tells his audience. People need to know that there is hope beyond the things that imprison us. That hope is found in Christ.
Reflecting on the opportunities to speak around the world, Nick says, “I am humbled by the fact that my life is most likely making a bigger impact because I don’t have arms and legs than if I did.”
So Nick implored the Sunday morning crowd—“see what God can do with what you have……If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart.”
Talk about putting things in perspective!
Check out the rest of his story at http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/