A friend pressed a piece of paper into my hand recently and said “look him up on youtube”. Well I finally got broad band a few days ago and as I still had the note in my back pocket I decided to give it a go. Well, I’m really glad I did. I’m not sure what I was expecting as I typed “Nick Vujicic” into youtube but it certainly wasn’t a man with no arms or legs. In the video he was addressing a large group of school children, sharing some of the principles that have helped him overcome the challenges he has faced in life. The audience was transfixed and so was I. He was so full of life and joy that you hung on his every word. How can this man with so little be so happy? Here’s how one of his talks starts:
“I was born without arms and legs and my parents had been dedicated Christians all their lives and then I came along and it really tested their faith. You see they actually had no idea that I was going to be born without arms and legs until I was actually born. And it was quite weird because there was no medical reason why this would have happened. But the greatest concern was that if God loved my parents why would he let something that bad happen to them. And you know how in James Chapter 1 verse 2 it says brethren count it all joy, nothing but pure joy when you go through these trials. Well let me tell you that the last two words on my parents minds were “praise God” when I was born. You know how mothers want to hold their first born, like they are anxious, so anxious to hold them? You know when I was put by my mother’s side guess what she said “take him away”. It was such a tragedy.
Today I am going to share with you the promises of God and why I can stand up here smiling and have the joy of the Lord. If you have your bibles turn to 29th Chapter of Jeremiah.”
I have to say that is about the best introduction to a preach I have ever heard. Whatever he is going to say next is surely worth listening to. He goes on:
As I was growing up I need you to understand what sort of life I was living. Not only was it difficult for my parents but obviously for me….I needed someone to help me all the time…imagine your parents taking you to the loo when you where 12 years old… I felt like I was a burden to my own parents…I would never believe that any girl would like me..Let’s read this passage “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jer 29:11).
I had this massive list of all the things that I didn’t have. I used to look at other people and say why didn’t God let them have no arms and legs, they look like they could handle it better than me. I just can’t handle this. …I wanted to end my life at the age of 10 …the most painful things was seeing couples of the beach holding hands….I am never going to be able to hold my wife’s hand, I am never going to be able to wrap my arms around my children, to comfort them. …little things but they were very important to me.
Now growing up in a Christian home I went to Sunday school and learnt that God loved me. ….But it was really confusing right, because God loves me right, and he created me in his image, but if he had full control over my birth, I realised, man, then why would he make me like this? I got really angry. I said God prove to me that you are real, that you made me and that you really love me. Why? Why me? Guess what. God didn’t answer me for ages and ages. Don’t you hate it when God doesn’t answer you?
So let’s go back to that promise. What do you do when you are asking God for something and you don’t get it or you are seeking God for something and don’t find it?Let’s go back to Jeremiah 29 [and read on] “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.
Now why wouldn’t he want me to find him now? Well you know life has its ups and down and it’s in those down times that you realise hey, you need God and there is a reason why he is not answering you yet. I want to tell you this morning that there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence…..why does he let us go through troubles? So that he can strengthen us to draw us closer to him and grow with him. He has a purpose for everything. The Apostle Paul says in Rom 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. And in Romans 8:28 all things God works for the good of those who love him. That means God will not let anything happen to you unless he has a good purpose for it. Well, then you look at me and say what possible good come out of this? oooo buckle up!
There is a reason why God has not answered your prayer yet, he has not “rescued” you from your suffering. He’s strengthening your heat. He’s preparing your heart for something more. He is teaching you. Trusting God. Prov 3:5-6 “lean not on your own understanding. Trust God with all your heart. Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your paths.” Trust God!….
….I gave my life to Jesus Christ when I read John 9 at age 15…why was this man born blind…it was done so that the works of God would be revealed through him….The question was why did you make me this way and the answer was “do you trust me?” and when you say yes to that question nothing else matters”….But why trust God? Because there was nothing else. Nothing else could give me peace. I knew my arms and legs wouldn’t give me peace. I needed to know the truth. Why I’m here.
A few more quotes:
“God is not interested in our capability but our availability. Instead of concentrating on our capability, our attention needs to shift to our availability. For, the Word of God is clear; it is God working through us. Without Him, we aren’t capable of doing anything on our own. Once we make ourselves available for God’s work, guess whose capabilities we rely on? God’s! Philippians 4:13 highlights this point well, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God has a truly great purpose for your life!….If you want to see your full potential in your ministry from today do not focus on your capability, no, focus on your availability, when you make yourself available for God’s work in and through you to reach out to the world some wonderful things are going to happen.”
“there is no point being complete on the outside when you are broken on the inside.”
“I found out that God could heal you without changing the circumstance”
(an Australian term he uses meaning “great, terrific, good” I think)
Oh, and here’s another grouse thing:
“You know when you pray for things. If it is God’s will it will happen in his time. But get this if it is not Gods will to happen he has got something better.”
He asked God to give him arms and legs because of course he really wanted them and because of course many people would see it and turn to God. God may well do that. But right now many people are turning to God through God’ s power being displayed in this man’s weakness. I have heard people challenge Christians to demonstrate that God is real by giving someone a leg or an arm back and I understand that challenge and in many ways it’s a legitimate one. God heals the sick and raises the dead to authenticate his word but you have to admit that something very powerful and authenticating is going on in this mans life too.
Couple more vids:
and his book: “Life without limits”
And an article: