The Message (MSG)
3-4 But you, God, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to God,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain.
How can I let God turn my troubles into triumphs? Last year I was perplexed with this question more so than I was at peace. I found out while looking at 42 years of imprisonment for something I didn’t do that God can only move you into victory when you position yourself for acceptance of His will and a unmovable faith. I have been blessed in my life on several occasions to see the hand of God move on the battlefield as a soldier, in the courtroom as a criminal, on the sick bed in a hospital, in drug addiction and shear life persecutions. He is real and lives within the vessel that seeks Him and confesses they need Him.
Max Cleland was a typical, all American boy, who starred in sports and was voted his high school’s most outstanding senior. At age twenty-four, he volunteered for combat duty in Vietnam as a first Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. One month before his return home, Cleland noticed a grenade that had been dropped accidentally. Moving to retrieve it, he was thrown backward by its explosion. He looked down in horror to find his right hand and leg missing and his left leg badly mangled. he tried to cry out, but shrapnel had ripped his throat.
No one expected Cleland to survive. But as he recovered from a triple amputation, he recalled two things: Paul the apostle had said that hope did not disappoint, and General George Patton had said, “Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.” Upon his return to civilian life, Cleland entered politics, learned to drive a special car, and traveled extensively, mobilizing support for veterans’ causes. At age thirty-four, he became the youngest man ever to head the Veterans Administration and was later elected Georgia’s secretary of State. Max says, “Life doesn’t revolve around an arm and a leg. People look at you the way you look at yourself.”
I have found in my life that effort is the supreme joy. Success is not a goal, but a means to aim still higher.