As I combed my hair, brushed my teeth and walked to my car, it was a different sort of day. As I got into my car, placed the key in the ignition and drove to work, it was a different sort of day. As I parked my car, turned around and got to my feet and walked into work, it was indeed a different sort of day.
As I type this with my keyboard, I am so much more aware of the ten fingers that move across the keyboard. I am much more aware of the ability to do this. It is indeed a different sort of day. Why was it so different from any other day?
How many of us take for granted our wondrous body that God created? God designed our body to make it work so perfectly at our commands. Do we take this miracle for granted? Are we grateful for what God has given us? Do we use it for His glory?
There are people who do not have this wonderful blessing. Robert Mendez was born May 9, 1988, without arms or legs! The result of a rare condition known as Tetra–Amelia, a rare congenital disorder that prevents the formation of limbs during embryonic development. This 31-year-old man has lived his entire life without arms and legs. He is mobile thanks to the chair he controls with his head and neck. It has given him a life otherwise inaccessible.
It was humbling to watch a documentary about this young man. As I watched him move around on the floor as a child, he was such a happy child, and then grow into the man he is today, I just sat there and cried.
Robert did not let his disabilities stop him from being all he could be! Mendez went on to become a unique high school football coach in America. His favorite phrase to the young men he coaches and his motto in his life is, “Who says I can’t?!”
Mendez accepted the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2019 ESPYs (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award). In his acceptant speech, he thanked his parents but he also gave God the glory. Amazing! He also stressed the importance of focusing on what you can do instead of what you cannot do. In addition, he was grateful.
Are we grateful for what God has given us as Robert expressed in his speech? Do we take what God has given us and use it to be the best we can be for Him and for others, as Robert has? What an inspiration he is to all those around him—including me.
When Christ comes to this earth, everyone will be healed. But in the meantime, there are those like Robert who set an amazing example of gratitude while pushing themselves to be all they can be.
These examples humble us and teach us valuable lessons. Here are two lessons that I take from Mendez’s example.
1. Be grateful—for what God has given you and to those who have helped you.
2. Live our lives to be the best we can be with what God has given us, so we can help and inspire others!
The opposite is mentioned in Romans 1:21 Romans 1:21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
American King James Version×, which describes the world today, and the fruit of an ungrateful heart: ”For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
We should always be giving God thanks for the things He has given us, and use it for His glory, and for the inspiration and encouragement of others.
So what lesson do you take away from this amazing man? Start your day with two things: “gratitude” to God for all He has given you, and a “can do” approach to life. Never use the words “I can’t.” With God’s help, all things are possible!
Robert Mendez did not let his shortcomings stop him, but with gratitude, he rose above his challenges to inspire and help others. He sure inspired me.
Never take for granted this miraculous body God has given us! Always ask God for help where you lack.
“WHO SAYS I CAN’T?” Not us! With God, all things are possible!