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To Glorify God

This is a reprint from my academy teaching days, back in 2014

We have had a special visitor yesterday and today. Bobby McCoy, assistant pastor at Oak Ridge Baptist Church and a very dear friend of mine, came to speak to my Bible and Psychology classes. He spoke to each group, one at a time, and gave a dynamic presentation just as he has done for me the last four years.

Bobby is a quadriplegic.

He was in an automobile accident during his senior year at college that injured his spinal cord to the extent that he cannot, to this day fifteen years later, be able to use his hands or legs. There were audible gasps when he showed the picture of the wreck on the screen in front of the room. Yet his message wasn’t meant to shock. His words of inspiration did amaze, though.

In a striking statement to the students Bobby said that “I’m not here to inspire you. I am here to glorify God.” That statement alone, in this humanistic world where self-absorbed human endeavor is foremost, brought pause to the students. He had them captivated through the whole class period.

Bobby gave an account of the brutal wreck that would change his earthly life forever. He also talked about his many trials since then – the complications with blood clot medication as well as setbacks in therapy. Yet at every step he reminded us that he was seeing God giving comfort and guidance. He kept talking about blessings from God, from his marriage to his children to opportunities to witness to people all across the country.

“God has given me so many blessings. I am here to testify of God’s grace, friends.

Philippians 1:6 tells us that He which hath begun a good work will continue until the day of Jesus Christ,” Bobby told the class. “God wants to form us to exalt His name and glorify Him. This is how He molded me to witness for Him and give Him glory.”

He then moved his wheelchair forward and quoted the apostle Paul.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8, “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me-to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.”

“More than three times I have asked God to remove me from this wheelchair,” said Bobby. “But He hasn’t done it. But I find now that I rejoice in the opportunities He has given me in this condition. I am thankful for the condition I am in.”

It was not lost on the students. McKenna shook her head, pondering this. Zack leaned forward, transfixed. Sherry met us as the students were leaving. She turned to Bobby. “You have put so much on my heart.”

What a great way to describe his impact.

You have put so much on my heart.

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