Monday, June 29, 2009

Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones

From The Word For You Today

How would you describe somebody who was an accomplished pianist at ten, a professional organist at eleven, had compositions published at thirteen, and was a member of the royal court musical staff at fourteen? Privileged? Born with a silver spoon in his mouth? Hardly!

Ludwig van Beethoven was a black-haired, swarthy-complexioned, pockmarked boy who endured taunts and name calling in his hometown along the Rhine River, an area of mostly blond, fair-skinned children. His alcoholic father decided that Ludwig would support him so he made him a slave to the keyboard.

Looking back, Beethoven couldn't recall a single moment of childhood happiness. His life was comprised of work, tears, beatings and angry tirades. In his twenties he encountered another more insidious enemy - deafness. When he could no longer play publicly, he put all his energies into composing. His years of deafness were his most prolific. Although at the time his works weren't well received, he influenced many of the great composers like Brahms, Wagner and Schubert. Nearing death and recognizing that the world had never fully understood or appreciated him and his music, he said with a smile, "I shall hear in heaven."

When life knocks you down, don't stay down, bounce back! Everybody stumbles or gets knocked off their feet from time to time; the winners are just the ones who keep getting back up! That's what Paul meant when he said, "In all things we are more than conquerors." If you pray and look hard enough, you'll find the seed of good in every adversity (See Genesis 50:20). The difference between winners and losers, is their ability to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

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