My friend Maureen was pinned under her car when a lady ran a stop sign. Her arm was severed except for a thin strip of skin attaching it to her torso. A trauma nurse who happened to be (read: Providence) in the car behind Maureen's kept her talking and alive. The sensible medical opinion regarding treatment of the arm would have been amputation, but Maureen's husband said no. I don't know how much of it was due to surgical brilliance and how much to Maureen's sheer grit, but Maureen still has her arm and has been in therapy (and in pain) for a few years.
But Maureen also has something invaluable: a built-in testimony. Everywhere she goes she does not have to grasp at straws for ways to talk about God. The arm is always there, always the elephant in the room, but an elephant Maureen does not shy away from. She gives glory to God for the trauma nurse, for the saved arm, and for other good things that have God's fingerprints all over them.
I was thinking about our forefather Jacob today. Every since he had that mysterious wrestling match all night long with a "Man" who turned out to be the Angel of the Lord, he has had this limp. I used to feel sorry for Jacob about that, but not after seeing Maureen. You can imagine what a conversation-starter that limp became. Old friends and new acquaintances alike must have asked, "Hey Jacob, what's with the bum leg?" And do you think old Jake kept the story to himself? I don't guess he did. I am supposing he said, "Yup, that was the night that changed my life. I became Israel instead of plain Jacob that night. I told that Man I wouldn't let him go unless he blessed me. And He did. Let me tell you the ways. …"
Maybe you have a scar in your life that is a ready-made testimony, too. It could be a stint in prison, it could be a death in the family, it could be a past in the homosexual lifestyle. God makes use of everything that happens to us when we let Him. And as for the loss of the perfect use of an arm or leg, my attitude is that we are all dying anyway. Our bodies are all wasting away, but the spirits of those who love God are being renewed day by day.