When a tragic accident left Will Mitchell with disfiguring burns he decided to focus on his possibilities, not his problems. Although he’d lost his fingers he learned to fly an aero plane solo. Then one day while flying from Colorado to California, ice caused his plane to crash. Paralyzed from the waist down (and you think you have got problems), Mitchell was understandably depressed about being confined to a wheelchair for life. Then a friend gave him the same advice he’d earlier given her: ‘It does not matter what happens to you. What matters is what you decide to do about it.’
So Mitchell adopted the Triple-A Formula. Accept what has happened, otherwise you live in denial, or open yourself to resentment and self-pity. Appreciate what you can learn from it. Built into every painful experience is the potential to be wiser, stronger and more effective. Adapt to the new opportunities it presents. It was darkness that drove Edison to keep searching until he discovered a source of light (and it can do that for you too). Since then Will Mitchell has held public office, found love, and given hundreds of talks. He says, ‘Before I was paralyzed there were 10,000 things I could do, now there are 9,000. Should I focus on the 1,000 things I cannot do? No, I’d rather concentrate on the 9,000 ways in which life is still good.’ So, whatever we are facing today, it is not too big for God. It can be turned around through ‘His power that is at work within us.’
The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities and author of Word Among Us Bible Studies.