We may not be immune to hardship, but we never have to face it alone.
Posted in , Jun 22, 2022
Unexpected events can change our lives forever—the suicide of a loved one, death of a child or spouse, a debilitating illness, financial bankruptcy and more. David was only 55 years old when he had a stroke that left him unable to use his right hand and leg. The good news, as he shared his story with me, was that it didn’t affect his speech or cognitive capabilities. A former marine who fought in Vietnam, David was totally surprised by the stroke. There were no signs that he was sick or had blood pressure problems. It came upon him suddenly and changed his life forever.
The doctor told him that moving forward, he would need a walker to get around. David refused to accept that. After the stroke, there were four grueling months of physical therapy—grueling even for a former marine. David was determined that with his faith in God and a dedication to the therapy, he would find a way to endure and overcome the odds. It was a long, uphill physical battle as well as emotionally and spiritually. But he did find a way. Twenty-six years later at the age of 81, he continues to walk on his own without a walker.
He doesn’t move fast, but fast enough to get around independently. When he extends his right hand to shake a person’s hand, two of his fingers are open and the others are closed, but he does it. When he looks back at how his life was altered that day, he notes that his faith sustained him then and continues to do so today.
Faith is a gift and a powerful resource that can empower us to push against the odds and become stronger. Faith doesn’t exempt us from hardship—God never promised that life would be easy. But He has promised that no matter what we face in life, whatever we endure, He will always be with us.