Making Your Weak Points Your Strong Points

Making Your Weak Points Your Strong Points

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed."—II Tim. 2:15

Glenn Cunningham of Kansas at one time held the world's speed record for running the mile. He was called the "Iron Man" so great was his endurance. Yet not many years before he won race after race in college track meets, Glenn Cunningham's parents were told he would never even walk. He had been badly burned in a tragic fire, and terrible scars prevented free movement of his legs.

But the boy Glenn determined to run. He went on and on, training twice as hard as other boys without his handicap. To­day we remember him as one of America's greatest athletes. Glenn Cunningham made a weak point into a strong point.

Turn back the pages of history to the ancient Greeks. A boy named Demosthenes of Athens had some kind of speech defect. Perhaps he stuttered. Perhaps he couldn't pronounce certain letters or make certain sounds. If you know any boy or girl with a speech defect, you know how terrible it can make them feel. And always there are children rude and unkind enough to poke fun at others born with such troubles.

But did this handicap stop Demosthenes? Not on your life. Instead of staying away from people, he went to a teacher of oratory, that is, one who teaches public speaking, and got instruction. For years he worked and worked. According to one legend, which is probably just a story and nothing more, Demosthenes put pebbles in his mouth and shouted speeches to the sea. Whether true or not it shows that the Greeks gave honor to one who overcame his handicaps, for this same Demosthenes was acclaimed in his day as the greatest orator of them all. So great, in fact, that now, over 2,300 years later, we remember him. His life could have turned out differently. He could have been ashamed of his speech difficulty and not tried to overcome it.

Franklin D. Roosevelt stands out in memory as one who, afflicted with polio with both legs paralyzed, so increased his will power and character through his struggle against being crippled that he became President of the United States. When Roosevelt was stricken in 1921, most of his close friends said, "He's finished in public life!" Desperate years followed. In 1932 this crippled man was elected our President.
But getting well himself was not enough. Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to prevent others from getting the disease of polio. He started the "March of Dimes," which finally led to the Salk vaccine.

Once I knew a well-to-do lady who was known for her generosity with poor children and for her many acts of assistance to boys and girls with little chance in life. One day she told me the secret of her greatness. She said, "When I was a little girl, I had no parents. I was fourteen years old before anybody ever gave me a party of any kind."

She was trying to give other children a better chance than she herself had ever had as a girl. And how well she succeeded! Nobody has more friends than she. She turned a point of weakness into a point of strength.

Sometimes God sends us trouble in order to strengthen us. Perhaps he means for certain difficulties to be steppingstones to growing up. At least that's the way we can best use them.

We have weak points, all of us. In overcoming them we become stronger and better. Ask God to help you, for he always will.

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