Sunday, June 22, 2014

“God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us- in the dreariest and most dreaded moments- can see a possibility of hope.” ― Maya Angelou

I live in constant pain from feet that I, myself, helped to ruin.  Motorcycle racing in California, rock climbing, and climbing mountains while in my mid-twenties pretty much destroyed my feet breaking almost every bone in each foot more than once.  I live in a house with concrete floors in a culture where you don’t wear shoes indoors, so for ten years, bare feet on concrete floors has not helped much, nor has being overweight and putting even more pressure on those aching dogs of mine.  Still, it was my own fault, and I try very hard not to complain about it.  It slows me down some, but it doesn’t stop me.  My call came when me feet were already ruined.  God knew my broken and weakened condition, but called anyway knowing that with His help, I could accomplish what He needed.  My story is not much different from many others whose constant pain has not only not slowed them down but inspired them to do even greater things.  What little pain I suffer is nothing compared to that of others.  Take the case of Gracie Rosenberger as just one example.  In 1983, after an automobile accident which left her lying in a coma for three weeks, Gracie Rosenberger awoke to a new life of constant pain, loss, and brutal challenges with both legs amputated.   She was only 17 years old.  She felt terrified, heartbroken, and overwhelmed.  Since then she has endured 71 operations and still lives with extreme pain, but has learned there is more to life than freedom from pain.  She learned to walk and then to ski with prosthetic legs.  She got married.  In 2005, with her husband, Peter, she established the nonprofit “Standing With Hope” to help amputees in developing countries. They launched the program in Ghana, West Africa, where many people are amputees. (See picture at the right). There, amputation is the first resort in a medical crisis, not the last, yet few can afford the price of good prosthetics. Today--anyone in Ghana, from members of parliament to people who live in the streets, can get a state-of-the-art prosthetic device thanks to her work. Her policy is to not put a limb on anyone that she’s not willing to wear herself.  Her organization also trains local technicians to make prosthetics for their own people. “Standing With Hope” trained a team in Togo this fall.  She still lives in constant pain, but pain is not what cripples—it is a lack of hope, a lack of love, a lack of knowing that you are a child of God and therefore, precious.  Every rainbow promises the possibility of hope from the God who loves each of us.  We can give in and give up to pain, or we can fight on for the promises of God.  Even amputees can find themselves “Standing On The Promises.”  Amen.
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