April 30

Written by Bill Grandi on April 30th, 2024


What I just wrote is nothing new to anyone. To borrow a common phrase: “Stuff happens.” (I don’t talk the other way. 🙂 ) We ALL KNOW that sooner or later we are going to hit a rough patch.

Recently, while reading another book, I read about CURE Hospital, a series of hospitals established in places like Kenya and other hard hit areas.  Sort of like Doctors Without Borders and Mercy Ship, CURE was established for doctors to help “the least of these.” One such person was Michael Panther. Michael was an active boy who would soon be training for the Sudan army when his legs grew weaker, then quit working. The civil war in South Sudan displaced him, and to make a long story short, he ended up in a CURE hospital where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the spine. To make another long story short, Michael spends his days in a wheelchair. But he has not allowed that to stop him following God’s direction, help and work. Michael now makes wheelchairs available to people in other countries who need them through his non-profit, Living With Hope. (You can read his fascinating and inspiring story in his book Living With Hope by Michael Panther).

During his “expansion” period, when the dream was born in his heart, he met Joni Eareckson Tada, the “champion” for the disabled who was paralyzed as a teenager from a diving accident. He had the chance to not only meet Joni, but to work with her ministry, Joni and Friends. In his book, Michael wrote down some of Joni’s statements that day. Here are three:

“God permits what he hates, to accomplish that which He loves.”

“I realized that God does not take pleasure in my spinal cord injury, but He loves the way He is changing me in it and encouraging others through it.”

“God has not abandoned those with disabilities. No, He is working through them.”   (All quotes from pages 141-142)

All of us-no matter our lot in life-have a purpose. Healthy or whole. Mobile or in a chair. Unencumbered or disabled. We all matter and we all have a purpose. Find yours. Fulfill it.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. It is so easy to think we are less important, that what we are doing is insignificant in comparison to the actions of others. But sometimes the least little thing can make a world of difference for someone. We never know how far even the smallest act of kindness might reach.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That is so true Pam. Listening to the sounds of the world around that fills us with those thoughts is not good either. We must listen to God’s Spirit that tells us we matter. And Michael is proof positive of what you have written about the smallest act of kindness. So many people in his life…

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I love hearing about stories of people who choose to overcome significant hurdles in life… Especially hurdles that seem to come through no fault or action of the individual. Our society seems to be overrun with a victim mindset where every challenge and every hinderence finds itself on the top of the excuses list. Anything is achievable when God is in the center. We just need to make ourselves available.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      This was one of those good stories Ryan. And you are more than welcome to borrow the book any time. you are also right about the society and victim mentality.

  3. Amen, Bill! How I truly needed to read this uplifting and inspiring post today. We need the Good News of Jesus’ love for each of us.
    Blessings, and thanks again for all your prayers!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Glad I could say something to help Martha. Not only am I praying for Danny but have also asked the church to remember as well. You are more than welcome

  4. gail says:

    Great story Bill. I love the term “expansion period”, that is such a great way to think when you are in the midst of everything falling apart. Before you let the anger set in, the doubts, the fear, the anxiety, stop and ask God, where do we go from here. What’s Your plans, and how do I work to help those plans develop. Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done here on earth as in heaven. No wonder Jesus said to pray the Our Father, it is loaded with God first, and how can I serve God, for the betterment of His Kingdom.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That is the perfect approach Gail. It is all about God and keeping His will and perspective in mind.

  5. Ed Damas says:

    God always has a plan! Always!

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