When I’ve got to take a walk through hard times, I think of the guy with no legs! In 1969, Bob Wieland was a twenty-two year old kid trained as a medic to “doctor” injured soldiers in Vietnam. While in Nam, Bob befriended a man named Jerome, who grew up in Bob’s home state of Wisconsin. One June day in 1969, Bob, Jerome and their company marched unaware into a minefield in the Vietnamese jungle. A loud explosion interrupted the quiet march, followed by cries of “Doc, Doc!” Bob recognized one of those voices as Jerome.
The young medic bolted toward the direction of the voice. He knew he had to get there quick if he was going to save the life of his Wisconsin buddy. Running to rescue his friend, Bob nearly lost his life. He stepped on an 82mm mortar round—powerful enough to stop a tank. As Bob says, his legs went one way and his life went another.
- What do I say about a man who went from being six feet, 205 pounds to two feet, ten inches and eighty-seven pounds?
- What do I say about a man who trimmed an eighteen-month rehab to six weeks?
- What do I say about a man who walked across America—all 2784 miles and five million steps—on his hands?
- What do I say about a man who, after years of training, broke the world bench press record with a lift of 507 pounds?
- What do I say about a man with no legs who became the strength and conditioning coach for the Green Bay Packers?
- What do I say about a man who in 1996 pedaled 6,200 miles across America and back?
For starters, I would say the man knows about overcoming adversity. I would say that Bob understands that sometimes God wants us to grasp the measure of his strength rather than bail us out of our troubles. I would say Bob is a perfect illustration of the face of courage God paints in the Old Testament book of Proverbs.
If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength. (Proverbs 24:10 NIV)
Trouble and Pressure are constant companions on the road of life. They pile on extra burdens, they make us trudge the uphill path, and they like to remind us how difficult the journey will be. On good days, Trouble and Pressure slow us down. On bad days, they urge us to quit. “You can’t make it,” they whisper. “It’s not worth the effort,” they cry. “Just quit! Everyone will understand!” Bob Wieland heard those words on many occasions, but he turned a deaf ear and took life “one step at a time.”
Courage is taking one more step in the face of adversity. It is taking one more step toward building a marriage, one more step toward finishing school, one more step away from temptation and one more step toward God. Courage is taking one more step at reconciling a relationship, paying a bill, being a friend, loving a child or walking with God. At times the journey seems impossible, the distance too great to travel, and the trouble too much to overcome. But like Bob Wieland, relying on God amazing power, we can make it one step at a time!
STAY FOCUSED TODAY:When you walk today, let your legs be your reminder to ignore the voices of discouragement. In God's strength you can overcome your troubles “one step at a time.”