Friday, April 11, 2008

Ten Fingers and Ten Toes

One of the first things uttered and eagerly waited for at the birth of a new baby is the phrase "all ten fingers and toes are here - he/she is beautiful! That phrase typically is used to indicate a healthy baby.

Today, at the Warrior Retreat marked the anticipated arrival of Nick Vujicic (www.lifewithoutlimbs.org ) As you may understand from the name of his website, he was born without arms or legs. He was basically born (and has lived 25 years) with only a torso and a small appendage where a leg would have been, should have been.

Part of the testimony he gives as a world-renowned inspirational speaker is the pity people felt for his parents when he was born. But, as he tells it his parents praised God! His father (a pastor) knew God had blessed them with a child who would only survive with God, and God would use him to encourage those who face great discouragement.

Here we are, all able-bodied, weary, and grumbling like Israelites in the desert because we are short of volunteers, no one has any experience, in our youngest group we have a crier, a crawler, and a kicker! As we were taking a heavy sigh at the afternoon break we started to walk to our room and complain (after all I just returned from India) up rolls Nick, pushed by his caregiver in the child-sized stroller his torso easily fits in. Beaming an infectious smile, he stops and says in his charming Australian accent "hey love, how are you doing? Come give a hug"

Okay, here is a guy with no arms or legs saying as casually as saying nice to meet you - give me a hug! It is - no disrespect or pun intended - totally "disarming"! We hugged, he chatted with us and told us he had just arrived TWO HOURS earlier from Columbia SOUTH AMERICA! There went my "just got back from India excuse and moan."

God is faithful!

Just when His children start throwing a party of pity, He opens our eyes to a different reality, and just how much mercy He is capable of, and how adequate His provision ALWAYS is.

We are humbled by the opportunity God has provided for us here at the Warrior Retreat. There have been many chances for the families to be ministered to as well as the love of Christ illustrated through the speakers, the volunteers, the Chaplains and leadership.

Many of these soldiers started life in a delivery room with the word of health uttered "all ten fingers and toes". Now, many in the prime years of their life have lost those symbols of health. They are fitted with prosthetic arms or legs - they don't have fingers and toes.

Our continued heart and prayer is as they hear testimony of the magnitude and goodness of God, (despite the broken neck of a 17 year-old girl - the birth of a child with no limbs at all, the hardships of an abused child who turned his anger into a world championship kick boxing career - and ultimately a testimony of God's mercy on his son diagnosed with terminal brain cancer ) they will find hope in the place where hope will not fail.

The enemy is pulling out all the stops to weaken and break us, irritate and tire us, and frustrate us to the point of grumbling. We know God parted the Red Sea at the moment the Israelites were at their most frightened, weakest, and weary moment. Tomorrow we are watching to "behold the power of our God". We need it!

Fight the good fight of faith with us and continue to equip us with you faithful intercession. Strongholds are coming down.

We are more than conquerors!

In the battlefield humbly with a smile