Scott lives in North Carolina with his wife and four kids and runs his own construction company, Sandusky Construction. One day this past August, he was operating a self-dumping trailer all alone. The bed of the dumping trailer was partially raised when the batteries running the hydraulics ran low. Scott unhooked his truck from the trailer turning it around to get power from his truck battery. The load that was still in the dump trailer suddenly slid to the back of the trailer causing it to surge forward crushing Scott’s right leg against his truck. While coming to edge of his life on several occasions due to loss of blood, Scott survived but had to have his right leg amputated. You can visit Scott’s website here to read more about him and to also make a donation to help his family offset their medical cost related to the accident.
When I asked Scott to answer the question, “Over the last few months since losing your leg, have you given thanks to God for your pain, hardship, heartache, and suffering?” Here is his response:
“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials and tribulations” (James 1:2).
This is what James wrote to the 1st century Christians while they were facing great persecution. It is in those times when it is a challenge to even find a breath of “fresh air” let alone to consider the trials and tribulations as joy.
However, when we reach below the surface, we can truly find great joy during some of the most challenging times in our lives… times that we really need to be THANKFUL for the PAIN and SUFFERING in our lives.
On August 14, 2012, I had something happen to me that could be viewed as very demoralizing, depressing, and completely opposite of something for which to be THANKFUL. However, as I have looked deeper at my difficult situation, I have so many things to be THANKFUL for during this painful time in my life.
On the morning three months ago, I was trapped between my truck and dump trailer due to a freak accident while on the job. This particular accident was so severe that at the impact of the pinch between the truck and trailer, my right leg was severed and had to be amputated above my right knee.
You can only imagine my initial response and fear when I realized that my highly active and athletic life was completely at risk. Not only was my lifestyle at risk, but life itself was very questionable as we pushed through day from one traumatic surgery to the next surgery trying to sustain my life.
If you look further at James 1, it says, “knowing this, that the trying of your faith produces patience.” Many do not allow our trials and tribulations to complete their work in us, and therefore we have no spiritual growth to be thankful for! At times when God most wants us to develop and grow through the “pain” that life brings our way, we give up in the middle of the development process, and completely miss the spiritual growth that God had in store for us.
Through the loss of my leg, I have been so THANKFUL for the growth I have experienced and for my desire to be closer to God. I have been THANKFUL for the maturing of my family (wife and four kids) as we all grow in this time of “new opportunity” that lies ahead of us. Through this seemingly painful time in my life, I have been challenged to reconsider whether I am living my life selfishly for me, or if I have a true balance of living my life for the service of others instead of myself.
Additionally, I have so much THANKS for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have reached out to encourage me and my family as we push through this time in our lives. I have been so blessed by the love and consideration of my Mom and Dad, as well as my brothers, as they have loved me and lifted me up as only a family can do. The list could go on and on of all of the great blessings that have come my way, and oh so many things from which I am so THANKFUL during this time of pain and suffering.
As I sit at home in my wheelchair with hopes of life with a prosthetic leg in the future, I have been so blessed to realize all the great blessings that come to us, if we will just finish the tests of life while wholly leaning on God!
Has it been painful? Absolutely!
But the real question is…
Has it been GAIN-FUL? Absolutely!
I have come to call times like this, times of “PAIN GAIN.” Yes there are times of PAIN in life, but if properly aligned with God’s will, these are times that can come with great GAIN!
I choose to THANK GOD for the PAIN in my life! Understanding that there is great GAIN that comes with PAIN!