Every once in awhile, God gives us a staggering glimpse of grace that takes our breath away. We experience an intersection of circumstance and divinity that changes us forever. God is never arbitrary. Each and every moment of our lives is a holy moment. It’s a divine moment; God’s perfect timing when nothing else makes sense. It’s happened several times in my life, but when I met Nick Vujicic after returning from a much-needed vacation in Mexico, I experienced a miraculous, what I imagine God saying, “I am going to blow your mind about grace” moment.
There is so much we are unable to understand about life because we are incapable of inhabiting the mindset of God. Why? Well, because He’s God. Isaiah 55:8-9
articulates it quite well: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
A dear friend knew I needed to get away and she graciously gifted me with a 4-day excursion to join her at a beautiful resort in the Mexican Riviera. Her generosity and love was my first tablespoon of grace on this magnificent trip. I was exhausted, spent, and couldn’t afford a vacation that year. It was almost the end of a seven-year season of a spiritual drought.
The ocean is my vitamin, solace and place of serenity; it’s where I go to recharge, replenish and restore my spirit and soul. Nothing compares. I’ve known sages to call the ocean, “the mother” and I longed to be rocked in her bosom and lullabied by her music—nature’s songs of the waves crashing against the shore.
Following four lovely days of beach and sun nourishment, we headed back home. Our flight connected in Mexico City and upon our arrival, we went to a chain restaurant to get a quick bite before our flight departed. As we strolled towards the restaurant, I saw a handsome man from afar, surrounded by the wait staff that appeared to be giddy in his presence. I assumed he was a celebrity and just proceeded to the table.
We were fortunate in our travels and were quite relieved to have the opportunity to pre-board. As we stepped onto the plane, I was quite surprised to see the man from earlier in the restaurant, already seated; the overhead light shinning softly upon his face.
As we made our way to our seats (which were right behind his), I was stunned to see that he didn’t have arms or legs. I didn’t want to stare but as I placed my carry-on bag in the overhead compartment, I leaned over to see that he was using his foot, which appeared to be attached to his torso, to text on his phone. And he was doing it faster than anyone I’d ever seen—ever! Then it hit me, this man is Nick Vujicic, world traveler, author, and international crusader for Christ.
I introduced myself and he said that he had been in Mexico speaking at a conference on bullying. I thought, how intriguing that he would speak about such a subject. We talked for a minute about bullying and how it’s exacted such a cruel toll on young people. He relayed stories of his new family, that he recently had a child and how exhausting his trip had been. We glossed over his handicap but not before he told me how lonely his journey was. Who can relate to Nick?
After about 15 minutes of conversation, I gave Nick his space. Clearly, he was worn out and quite frankly, I needed a moment to process what had just happened. That evening, on a flight from Mexico City to Dallas, God gave me an extraordinary glimpse of His grace.
After returning home, I searched the Internet to find out everything I could about this exceptional human being. I found his book, “Unstoppable.” On the cover Nick is surfing! All I could think about was his courage and strength—against all odds. In the books he says, “Being unstoppable is about believing and achieving. It’s about having faith
in yourself, your talents, your purpose, and most of all, having faith in God’s great love and Divine plan for your life.”
I wanted desperately to understand why God had chosen Nick. Why didn’t Nick have arms or legs? I wanted to understand why Nick loved God so much, and why he was sold out for Jesus? I was convicted following our brief conversation that day. I didn’t earn the right to complain about anything. Nick reminded me not only about blessings—that’s the easy part, but those divine moments were a reckoning that I could be the one with no arms and legs. I could be the one whose home was ripped to shreds by a tornado. I am no different.
God chose Nick to relay his message and the wonderful thing is that Nick said, “Yes” to God’s calling. There is a scripture placed on my wall that brings Nick to mind, Jeremiah 29:11-12
: “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you…'”
I am reminded that time is never meaningless to God. There are no accidents in His economy. Nick is an example of God’s divine purpose. As I listened to Nick, I wondered how many souls had he saved? How many people did he encourage? How many sparks of hope had he lit?
At a time in my life when I was so down, God allowed me to bear witness, that my faith muscles needed strengthening—that sometimes life is indeed a solo journey—where it’s just God and us. It’s in those days, months, years in the cauldron that we learn to depend on Him and only Him. I’ve learned that faith is not faith unless it’s tested. Nick reminded me about the power of uncompromising faith.
In Mark Batterson’s recent book, “The Grave Robber,” he talks about meeting Nick and a conversation they had. Nick told him he keeps a pair of shoes in his closet because he knows that if he should ever receive legs—only God will give them to him. What faith!
I don’t know if Nick remembers me; probably not. I can only imagine how many people he comes in contact with daily. But, I’m clear that my meeting him was a message to me that God’s grace is truly sufficient. God is enough.
We get caught up into believing and even living out a deception that God is some magician in the sky that shows up in our lives when we need stuff, or to be cured of some dreadful disease, or for our children to make better choices. But, what about when God says no? What if we don’t get that job? What if we don’t get that man? What if the doctor’s diagnosis means that we only have 30 days to live? What if we have to serve time in prison for a crime we didn’t commit? Is God enough?
Meeting Nick, and witnessing his humble and loving demeanor in spite of his handicap, and listening to his powerful testimony says God is enough. HIS Grace is enough and if a mountain needs to be moved in my life, or yours—only He can move it. Meeting Nick gave me another example of real faith and grace. That meeting provided me with hope during a dry season of my life when I was depleted, feeling a little sorry for myself, and not knowing what my future looked like. Nick reminded me of God’s vision for our lives and only HE knows the future.
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time, it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
Publication date: July 20, 2016