For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
—John 3:16 KJV
Herb Kliewer was forty-nine years old when he broke his neck in a fall and was left totally paralyzed. He ended up in a nursing home where all he could do was lie in bed staring blankly into the air. There is nothing left of me but worthless broken pieces, he thought. What good am I now?
Suddenly, “It was almost like Jesus was right there by my bed,” Herb said. “I felt him telling me, ‘Broken pieces are all I need.’”
That moment changed Herb’s life. Yes, his body was still broken, but he knew without a doubt that God was right there with him. Hopelessness faded in the bright light of that assurance. Soon God allowed the feeling to come back to Herb’s hands and then to his arms. No longer was his entire body paralyzed.
Herb learned to hold a pen again and began copying Bible verses that were especially meaningful to him. His favorite is John 3:16, which reminds us that God loved us so much that he gave his Son to die for us. For Herb, in the nursing home. For you and me exactly where we are and who we happen to be.
Herb has taught me a wonderful lesson in perseverance. He’s shown me that one’s purpose doesn’t depend on understanding God’s plan or why God allows awful—or even good—things to happen.
God’s purpose is more often focused on the moment, on how we respond to a tough circumstance right now, this instant, every day.
From Daily Gifts of Grace. Copyright © 2012 (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.