“Changing obstacles into opportunities”
– Nicholas Vujicic
Has there ever been a moment in your life when you could not see a way out of a stressful situation? It may have been a deadline at work, ongoing bullying at school, or an unresolved conflict. Whatever that moment or situation may have been, it is possible that it made you feel as though the obstacles you faced were too great and were impossible to overcome.
Nicholas Vujicic is a man who faced this seemingly invincible obstacle at a very young age.
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Nicholas Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1982. It wasn’t until he was born that his parents and doctors realised that he didn’t have any arms and legs, as the three sonograms which had taken place during the pregnancy failed to show this complication.
Speaking at a Ted Talk in October 2012, Vujicic reveals that despite his parent’s constant love and affection, the constant bullying at school and stream of people telling him about his limitations began to seem impossible to overcome.
At the age of eight, battered down by hurtful words and feeling as though there was no hope, he contemplated suicide. When he was ten he tried to drown himself in his home. During that moment, he recalls thinking of how his family would feel if he was successful in his attempts. His parents had made sure to always tell him how much they loved him and it was because of their endless love that he decided not go through with his plan as he didn’t want to cause them any anguish.
This decision for perseverance was just the beginning for the incredible impact that Nicholas Vujicic would have on millions of lives in the future.
A bible verse which stood out to him the most at a young age was John 9:3. For it was in this verse that Jesus met a blind man and told him that God could work through him regardless of his supposed limitations.
‘1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
– John 9:1-3 (NKJV)
Moved by the power of these words Vujicic was struck with the thought ‘if God could work through a blind man, then God could work through me.’
Armed with this realisation, Nicholas Vujicic began to change his obstacles into opportunities. From his first speaking engagement at the age of nineteen, Vujicic has now travelled to around 58 countries for thousands of speaking engagements, is known by over a billion people through social media, and has published the inspiring book ‘Life without Limits’. His resilience and faith in God has resulted in thousands of people committing their lives to Jesus.
Reflecting on his childhood, Vujicic recalls always wishing to meet someone like him so he wouldn’t feel so alone. As he grew and began to understand God’s plan for him he realised ‘if God doesn’t change my circumstance He’s going to use me to be a miracle for someone else.’ It wasn’t until his 20’s at a speaking engagement when two parents brought their baby boy onto stage who was just like him, that he realised that now he could be a beacon of hope for that child so he wouldn’t have to feel alone or limited in his life.
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No matter the stressful circumstances or the seemingly invincible obstacles we may face in our lives, we all have a unique story and purpose. Regardless of our varying talents, appearances, wealth, or situations our value and worth is never changing to God. The word love doesn’t appear in the Bible over 300 times (KJV) for no reason.
God has a plan for all of us and can help turn difficult situations into opportunities to strengthen our character and help others.
“If God is willing to use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart.”
– Nicholas Vujicic
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‘…3 and not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’
– Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)
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