Sep 10, 2015

Robert Reed - Everything I Need

“I have everything I need for joy!” Robert Reed said.

His hands are twisted and his feet are useless. He can’t bathe himself. He can’t feed himself.
He can’t brush his teeth, comb his hair, or put on his underwear. Strips of Velcro hold his shirts together. His speech drags like a worn out audiocassette. Robert has cerebral palsy.

The disease keeps him from driving a car, riding a bike, and going for a walk.
But it didn’t keep him from graduating from high school or attending Abilene Christian University, from which he graduate with a degree in Latin.
Having cerebral palsy didn’t keep him from teaching at St. Louis Junior College or from venturing overseas on five mission trips.

And Robert’s disease didn’t prevent him from becoming a missionary in Portugal.
He moved to Lisbon, alone, in 1972. There he rented a hotel room and began studying Portuguese.

He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after the rush hour and a tutor who would instruct him in the language. 
Then he stationed himself daily in a park, where he distributed brochures about Christ. Within six years he led seventy people to the Lord, one of whom became his wife, Rosa.

I heard Robert speak recently. I watched other men carry him in his wheelchair onto the platform.
I watched them lay a Bible in his lap. I watched his stiff fingers force open the pages.

And I watched people in the audience wipe away tears of admiration from their faces.
Robert could have asked for sympathy or pity, but he did just the opposite.

He held his bent hand up in the air and boasted,
“I have everything I need for joy.”

When we come to the conclusion that everything we need for joy, we possess in God, our lives too will be held together and defined by joy.
 Robert looked beyond his current situation of a diseased body and saw the big picture that God had in store for him.

I want to be able to look beyond my current situation (whatever that may be) and see the big picture that God has in store for me!

Is joy easy or hard for you?  Do you have everything you need for joy?

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