Written By Corine Gatti-Santillo
Dave Phillips was born with a birth defect that stunted the growth in his leg leading to a partial amputation at 14. He faced bullies at school and rheumatic fever that threatened his life. Yet, through it all, he never gave up hope.
The boy who once viewed neighborhood children playing outside from his upstairs bedroom window knew God had other plans.
Phillips’ story was just beginning. As an adult, he was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Estonia by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on April 16, 2007, became a senior state official in North Carolina and a successful businessman serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Phillips Industries.
“Every individual goes through adversity in their lives. I don’t care if you’re rich, poor, black, white, handicapped, star athlete, executive, addict, scholar, or a high school dropout. Our problem is that most people focus on what hasn’t gone right for them,” Phillips said with an effusive smile.
Many of us face opposition daily. Maybe you had a hard childhood or felt that you would never live out God’s purpose. Like Phillips — all can be well with your soul. Look at King David’s life, he encountered giants during his youth, including Goliath. Paul encountered deprivation and proceeded to teach the gospel. Jesus paid the ultimate price with His life. Just consider if they crumpled and never finished their races?
Perhaps, we wouldn’t be having this exchange on Our Action Place today. I want you to get back up again! The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Say this to the people of Judah: This is what the Lord says: You know if a man falls man down, he gets up again. And if a man goes the wrong way, he turns around and comes back.”
Chew on this for a minute.
Like Phillips, who rose above difficulties, you need to get back up. The Christian body needs you; God needs you — your family needs you.
Take the advice from a former ambassador.
“I tell people who are going through a hard time to look for that taste of success, something they can build on. What are you good at? What do you like to do? Go do that and focus on that—not on the things that aren’t going right,” Phillips stated.
The Bible shares the same message that we must never retreat. Through prayer, faith and spiritual growth, you can set aside the past to accomplish the amazing things God has for you.
“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,” the Apostle Paul wrote.
Phillips discovered the following prayer in his youth that brought him comfort. May you feel comforted as well.
“Our Father in Heaven, we thank Thee for food, shelter and friends. Help us to be true to Thee and ourselves. In Christ’s name, Amen.”
Are you ready to face your giants? God can do the impossible! Share with us your experiences today.