ILLUSTRATION: Max Lucado in his book entitled, "The Applause of Heaven," tells about a young man, Robert Reed, who has cerebral palsy. He can’t brush his teeth or comb his hair or bathe himself. He can’t dress himself, or button his shirt. He has to depend upon other people to do that for him. He can’t take a walk. He can’t go from one place to another by his own power. But his handicaps did not rob him of graduating from high school, & finally earning a degree from Abilene Christian College. Max Lucado says that Robert Reed decided that he would study to be a missionary. So he taught a couple of years in a Junior College in St. Louis. And then took 5 trips to different missionary fields. Finally he settled in Lisbon, Portugal. Robert Reed found a hotel owner who would rent him a ground-floor room. He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after hours each day. He found a tutor who would teach him the language. And every day he wheeled out to the city park & passed out Christian literature to people who walked by. He spoke to them in his voice that sounded like a record player whose batteries are about to run down. He told them about the love of God through Jesus Christ. In 6 years Robert Reed won more than 70 people to Jesus. One of them was a young girl by the name of Rosa, who later became his wife. Lucado said, "I sat in an audience of thousands & watched as strong men grabbed his wheelchair, him sitting in it, & lifted him to the platform so that he could speak to this vast audience of people." "I watched him as he took his stiff fingers & tried to turn the pages of his Bible. And along with thousands of others, I wiped away tears of admiration. Here is one who could have complained, one who could have been bitter, one who could have asked `Why me?’ One who could have asked, `Why do bad things happen to God’s people?’" "But instead," he said, "Robert Reed read in his drawn out way the Words of God & gave his testimony. And when he came to the end of it, he lifted up his bent hand & arm & said, `I have everything I need.’" Lucado adds, "His shirts are held together with velcro. But his life is held together with the joy of God."
Do whatever it takes to keep bitter from rising up in the midst of life’s curve balls.
3). Don’t rule out the reality that God has a greater purpose to what you have experienced.
Genesis 45:5 “Don’t be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it. He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. These two years of famine will grow to seven, during which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God has sent me here to keep you and your families alive so that you will become a great nation. Yes, it was God who sent me here, not you! And he has made me a counselor to Pharoah—manager of his entire household and ruler over all Egypt. (NLT)
Now, it is important for us to understand something here. God never puts a stamp of approval on evil and sin. It was wrong for Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery and lie to their father that he was dead. But, as Joseph looks back on his life he sees how it was no accident that he is where he is. Even in the midst of all that was going on in his life—God used it for the good. As a matter of fact he used Joseph’s life to save many other lives. Before you give up on God you need to realize that he is in the process of bringing out great possibilities through your experiences.