View from a DistanceWhy is it easy to lose sight of the future God has promised you?
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I was injured in a hunting accident in 1986. I have been in a wheelchair since. I was married. I had my own business and a son, Brandon, that was six months old. Life was good, but my world came tumbling down. My marriage would not last and I spent years trying to prove to the world that being in a wheelchair was not going to keep me from living a "normal" life. The problem was, I didn't really know what a "normal" life was. I was hurting, though I didn't realize it at the time. The people I surrounded myself with and the people I was trying to impress were the "party" people. Life was one big "party" and nothing was fun unless there was some mood altering substance involved. Actually, I was just continuing a pattern that I developed as a teenager and that had ruled my young adult life. I had settled down somewhat when I married and Brandon was born, but it was the only life that made sense to me. Brandon was the key to it all. He spent every other weekend with me and we went out to eat every Wednesday night. He was my son, my buddy and my best friend. He had never known me any other way but in a wheelchair. To him I was just his dad and he loved me unconditionally. I met a friend in college that demonstrated with his words, and his actions, what a "normal" life was really was. His name was Rich and he was an angel sent by the Lord. He invited me to bring Brandon to church for some activities for kids. The Lord was calling me! When he shared with me what a difference the Jesus had made in his life I was ready to have that sense of peace in my life. There was a void in my life that I was trying to fill with all the wrong things--a void that can only be filled by Jesus himself. I gave my life to Jesus Christ on March 10, 1990 and He saved my soul and forgave me everything I had ever done. Forgiveness is a "gift" from God through Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. All we have to do is ask for and accept it. Still I could not give up the "party" life. The influence of my "friends" was too strong. I was accepted by them. I was cool! However, inside I was a train wreck waiting to happen. When I finally realized I could not do it on my own, I lay in bed one night and asked the Lord to do whatever it took to take me away from this "party" life and help me be the man and the father He would have me to be. That night the God of all creation reached down from the heavens and touched me. The peace that passes all human understanding came over me and I knew everything was going to be alright. I was not prepared for what would happen next, but looking back I can see it was a necessary step in the Lord bringing me where I need to be. After coming home from an all night "party" the party life finally caught up with me. I remember heading for the couch and grabbing the phone. Three days later I woke up in the hospital. I had been in a coma and I could hardly speak. I had overdosed from a combination of drugs and alcohol. I called 911 and before I reached the hospital I had a temperature of 108. They had me packed in ice. By all medical accounts I should have died, but God had a plan for my life. My speech was terrible. That was enough to get me into therapy and get me on the path to recovery. I promised the Lord if He would restore my speech, I would use it to praise His name. Over the years it has become un-noticeable. Singing has always been my speech therapy. I had always enjoyed singing along with the radio. I could always imitate just about any country or rock song, but brother when I started singing for the lord it all took on a different meaning. This was my way of fulfilling the promise I made to Him. I'm not much of a talker, but give me a microphone and some music and I'm in my comfort zone. I spent years singing in church and I thank God for all those who tolerated me as the Lord worked out the kinks. There are still many kinks to be worked out, but that's another story! I was sharing my belief that the Lord had called me to sing and share what the Lord has done in my life with the worship leader at our church, one of my biggest supporters and a very dear friend brother Joe Stanley. He asked me the logical question "have you ever written any songs?" Well what a novel idea that was! I began writing songs and I'm in the studio recording a CD. The Lord has laid a message on my heart. What He has written through me speaks to the average Christian and to those God is calling to Him. He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. My sole purpose is to bring Glory to Him and share what a difference He made in my life. Nothing we go through in life is bigger than Him. The message of my music is..."Jesus Saves", "He'll Set You Free" and be as much a part of your life as you allow Him to be and, "Spread the Word" about what He has done in your life. If you have never asked Jesus to be Lord of your life by faith alone you can be "Justified." If you are a child of God, let people see something in you they want for themselves! May we all be willing vessels of the Lord. God Bless You! Dwayne Cook