The Gift Of Ecouragement

John - Vinton, Iowa
Entered on July 1, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: hope, setbacks
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How do we face tragedy head on and yet maintain our integrity and faith while we are going through a difficult trial? I have had to address this issues myself. When I was 19 years old I was injured in a grain-dust explosion, the force of this event could be heard 14 miles away. On fire I was thrown 30 ft, it changed my life forever, yet I knew God had greater plans for my life. I just had to have the courage to endure the pain and not die. I was airlifted to University Of Iowa’s Burn Unit where I was told that I had 3rd degree burns over 68% of my body. You can imagine this was not good news, as I was a very gifted artist, there was talk of possibly losing all my fingers and amputating my right arm, but my mind was only on survival. That night September 9th, 1981 actually died, I had a cardiac arrest, it was so peacful and the Lord told me; “Don’t fight this and lay under it and you will be alright.” I was too weak on my own to help myself as I lost 55 lbs of muscle getting down to 140 lbs during the nightmare process while in the Unit. In any crisis we can choose to trust God that He will deliver us from the current curcumstance or we can become bitter about what has happened to us. I chose to be postive. In doing so God will restore your life to incredible heights if you allow him time. I knew that I had a calling on my life before the explosion and I wanted to live long enough to see the fulfillment of it, not die as a teenager. This life purpose today has lead me to Isreal and two briefings at the White House as I have been helping Russian Jews imigrate to their homeland. Amazing how God takes tragedy and turns it into triumph, here I am a survivor of an explosion and God connected me helping suicide bombing victims in Israel through a paramedic organization. I recently returned from Kiev and was speaking at confernces there about my life and giving people hope to never give up and to trust God that He will restore your life and place you in a higher level than you were before the event. So I encourage anyone who has suffered tragedy, loss or injustice to know that God has greater plans for your life and He will restore you life to an amazing heights of fullness. I am friends with one of the younger Schindler Jews, and he told me that he did more with his life because of the Holocaust then without. Because it thrust him forward into wanting to make a difference in others lives the same way Oskar Schindler saved his life.

So my encouragement to you is that God will lift you to high places. I was not supposed to survive the explosion but yet today I am here doing as much good as I can. So I encourage you also that you to can survive what you are experiencing and you will be given wisdom and insight into the perfect plan for your life. Today most people would never know that I was injured as severly as I was. Be encouraged that your life and perfect plan will also be restored. You too will accomplish big things knowing that you can make a big difference in the world you are in.