In the Darkness it is Lightest
Would losing your nose, half of your right arm, and all the fingers on your left hand bring you closer to God’s purpose in your life? Would it take such a dramatic sacrifice to finally get to that place?
I was reading a story the other day about a man who had to experience such loss to gain immense clarity and purpose in his life. Dr. Beck Weathers was part of 1996 Mount Everest expedition that went so wrong, so fast and it cost 12 people their lives.
After a medical condition separated him from his group and a blizzard made it impossible for him to move or be found, Weathers lapsed into a hypothermic coma. After hours of searching, fellow climbers found him covered in ice and barely breathing. Assuming he was a goner, they went back to camp and called his wife with the bad news.
But something miraculous happened during that fateful call to his wife. Weathers somehow revived on his own, struggled to his feet, and staggered back to camp. His jacket was flapping open, his face was blackened beyond recognition from frostbite, and his right arm was marble white and frozen.
Like Lazarus, Weathers had been raised from the dead. He had lost his nose, his right arm, and all the fingers on his left hand. On the inside, however, he had gained a new sense of purpose.
In an interview with CBS Evening News, Weathers said, “Would I like to have my hands back? Sure. Would I like to have my hands back enough to go back to who I was? No. I’m probably a much happier person now having gone through what I’ve gone through. I have a different set of priorities. You never know who you are and what you are until you’ve really been tested. You gain a whole lot more from having failure kicked up from around your ears than success could ever teach you.”
Can you imagine going through that kind of life lesson to finally get what it’s all about? Honestly, I can’t. Had Weathers scaled the mountain and come home undefeated, his life would not have changed accept to have another successful mountain expedition under his belt and an excellent story to tell friends and family.
It took a near death experience to reach the summit of his salvation. What mountain will you need to climb to understand that you have work to do for God and a worthwhile life to experience? I pray it won’t cost me a literal arm and leg to get there, but if it does, I pray that I will have God’s will and strength to bravely meet it like Weathers did.
I WILL LEAD THE BLIND BY WAYS THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN, ALONG UNFAMILIAR PATHS I WILL GUIDE THEM; I WILL TURN THE DARKNESS INTO LIGHT BEFORE THEM AND MAKE THE ROUGH PLACES SMOOTH. THESE ARE THE THINGS I WILL DO;
I WILL NOT FORSAKE THEM.