We are the product of the choices we made, the environment we live in and the people who have had the greatest influences on our lives. These three factors and several others have a lot to do with the shaping of our lives; they helped in forming our background, the way we reason and behave etc. among these factors are ones in which we could not have had a choice in the making. For example: none of us had the choice of who our parents and families would be. As children too, we could not have chosen where we would live; that depended upon our parents or guardians. However, if our background or past were negative ones, we can choose to rise above them and still fulfil purpose and destiny.

Space will not permit me to tell the stories of men and women whose lives and stories have been a blessing to humanity today in spite of their bad or poor background, mistakes, challenges and obstacles they faced in life and overcame. Not because they were born heroes, but because they made the choice to rise above life’s difficult circumstances. You too can, through God’s help make something beautiful of your life. God is able to bring beauty out of the ashes of your past, if you will allow Him.


The June/July 2010 of the Readers Digest magazine has this touching but inspiring story – “Hit by a train”. Here is a summary of the story. Daniela Garcia, of Santiago, Chile is a very beautiful young lady. But she is a quadruple amputee. She has her two legs and two arms amputated by a train in October 30, 2002. She was then in medical student at PUC, one of the oldest and prestigious universities. She was about halfway to her medical degree when the accident occurred. Metal devices were used to replace her lost limbs.

Her rehabilitation physician, Dr Esquenazi told her, “You will always miss your hands. Nothing we do here will ever be like what you lost. But you have a choice. You can hide in a corner, or you can rise to the moment and do the best you can with what you have. Your life will be what you do with it.” Daniela faced the fact that things would never be the same for her. She said, “The biggest shock for me was when I realized things would never be the same as they had been before the accident. No matter how good my prostheses (metal devices) were, they would never really be my legs or hands. That was difficult.” She added, “I decided that if there was any limit to my recovery, it would have to be determined by my body – not by my mind.” She re-entered medical school after almost exactly a year after the accident, determined that she would be given no special treatment. After graduation she became a rehabilitation physician – the world’s first quadrilateral amputee physician – and works at the Moss Institute. She got married to her boyfriend Ricardo Strube, who along with her family had stayed with her throughout the tough time.

In her book – Elegi Vivir, meaning ‘I chose to live’, she said, “It’s normal to be sad about something like this. But I didn’t want to stay in that sadness. This is a happy story.” Daniela has an unbelievable ability to wholeheartedly accept the present moment. She never focuses on what was lost and she never lets her injuries define her.

Think about it! Regaining consciousness in the middle of a railway track, on a dark night and suddenly realizing that two arms and legs have been chopped off by a train and still say, “I want to live and make something beautiful of my life.” With God’s help she lives and is touching lives today. So can you.

Time and choice.

The time always come when in our lives we have to make the choice: either to remain where we are or to move forward – no matter the circumstances facing us. If you remain where you are right now it’s your choice. Paul accepted God’s love, mercy and forgiveness and became a Christian. Corrie Ten Boom accepted God’s love and power to forgive those who hurt her and murdered her family members during the holocaust and pressed forward becoming a blessing to others. Will you make that choice today – that is allowing God to help you? Don’t give up on God; don’t give up on life, it’s God’s gift to you and He is able, willing and ready to help you if you will let Him.

To rise above life’s circumstances:

Walk in love and forgiveness.

Because we live in a fallen world, life can be cruel and unfair. If you are in a bad place today because someone has hurt, abused, cheated, betrayed, misled or denied you, find it in your heart to forgive your offender. If you don’t do this God can’t help you. The Bible makes it clear that we cannot walk with God if our hearts are not right with our fellowmen. As hard as it may seem we are told to love and pray even for those who despitefully hate and persecute us (Matt. 5:44). And if you are in a bad place today due to your own bad choices and disobedience there is forgiveness for you (Isa. 1:18; 1 John 1:9). Ask God to forgive you; accept His forgiveness; forgive yourself too and continue to walk in love and forgiveness.

Quit the blame game.

Quit blaming people. Quit blaming and condemning yourself too. And quit being angry at God and blaming Him! He’s not the author of your problems; rather He is the solution. It’s time to throw away the cloaks of self-condemnation, self-pity and accusing fingers. They will do you no good and get you nowhere. Get rid of every bitterness and complaint if you want to move on in life.

Forget the past, look forward and press on.

Your past may be full of regrets, you may look at yourself today and hate who and what you are; or you may see yourself as a nobody and the future seems bleak. You may even be at a crossroad and don’t know in which direction to go; you may look at your background and think not much of yourself.  No matter what situation you may be in right now, friend, God is telling you – “You don’t have to remain where the circumstances of life has placed you.” You don’t have to be bound or limited by your past. It’s time to put the past behind you and press forward. The apostle Paul said, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:13 NLT). God is saying to you: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isa. 43:18 – 19 NIV).

Ask God for a new beginning, a fresh start.

God is able to restore to you the wasted years because with Him all things are possible. He created time, seasons and years. He says, “I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten….” (Joel 2:25). Begin to include Him in your plans. Ask Him to give you a fresh beginning and He will. Ask Him from today to always help you make the right choices and decisions.

Develop a relationship of simple trust and obedience.

Begin to walk with God in simple trust and obedience. Trust Him and depend totally upon Him like a little child trusts and depends upon the parent. Whenever you are bothered about anything go to Him and pour out your heart to Him, holding nothing back, no matter how insignificant you think it may be. He will listen and guide you. The more you spend time with Him in communion and reading of His word, the more you will come to know and trust Him.

Begin to take necessary steps forward.

With God’s help, start taking steps that will move you forward. Do something that will better your life. For example, go back to school, learn a trade, get necessary knowledge and information through books, tapes or seminars, go for rehabilitation if necessary, seek and ask for help or counsel from people who are able and willing to assist, ask someone who know the Lord to pray along with you, look out for any opportunity of  being a blessing to someone, be more considerate with your spouse and children, disassociate yourself from unprogressive company, pray that God will connect you with the right people. The list is inexhaustible.

Release your past to the Lord: the failures, the bad times, as well as the successes and the good times. Don’t let them rob you of your present or future victory; for there is a danger of relying upon past defeats or victories to keep us in the present.


Father, I come before Your throne of grace, and I ask that you will show me Your mercy and grace. I put my hands in Your hands. Please lead me to the place You have prepared for me, in Your infinite wisdom. I don’t know the way, show me the way. Help me to walk the path of faith and obedience so that I will not fail You and miss Your purpose for my life.  I forgive those who have hurt me and I also ask that You forgive my own sins. Pour Your oil of healing upon my wounded heart and give me the grace to let go of the past; to trust You with my present and future and to press forward. Bless me, Father, and make me a channel of blessing to others, in Christ’s name I pray. Amen. Thank You for hearing me. Amen.

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