(Photo: Life Without Limbs)
Evangelist Nick Vujicic, who spoke at Saddleback Church in Calif. on Sunday, was born with neither arms nor legs, and questioned God for eight years why it was so. The answer changed his life, and through him that of tens of thousands of others.
For the now 30-year-old Nick, founding president and CEO of the nonprofit organization Life Without Limbs, the most important thing in life was to understand why God made him without arms and legs.
Speaking at Pastor Rick Warren's church in Lake Forest on Sunday evening, the inspirational speaker said he spent eight years asking God, "Why? Why was I born this way? I don't understand how can You say You love me when You allow me to stay in this pain."
Vujicic, who has been living in California since 2007, was born in Brisbane, Australia. His parents – Pastor Boris Vujicic and nurse Dushka Vujicic – were not given any medical explanation or warning about his birth with neither arms nor legs. But Nick got the answer to his desperate prayers.
John 9:1-3 spoke to him in a special way. The New Testament portion reads: "As he (Jesus) went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.'"
The Life Without Limbs author described his feelings after reading these verses. "I got goosebumps on my skin I don't even have," he told the congregants. "And I had faith because I understood something. You see, all I wanted to know was that God knew what He was doing with me."
By the age of 19, Nick started to fulfill his dream of being able to encourage other people and bring them the Gospel of Jesus through motivational speaking and sharing his testimony about how God changed his life and gave him a future and a hope.
The desire to have arms and legs has remained, Vujicic admitted. Initially, he thought, "Lord, if you give me arms and legs, I'll go around the world and share your power with the world." He said he still has ups and downs in life. "I am just like you."
Vujicic said he has failed God every single day, but has relied on Philippians 1:6: "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Vujicic recalled he and dozens of his Christian friends once prayed for 90 minutes for his arms and legs in a farm in a jungle in India. They made arms and legs with clay, and prayed it turn into flesh and bone. It didn't happen, but he had peace in his heart as he saw an eagle soaring in the sky throughout those 90 minutes. He said it was as if God was smiling, and was happy he had the faith to pray.
"Please give me arms and legs. But if You don't give me arms and legs, I trust You." This has been Vujicic's prayer. He said his commitment to Jesus is "to want His plan, and not my plan ... even when I don't understand."
You are praying for something, but what if God says "no" to that? he asked. "Is He still God? Yes. Will He waste your pain? No." He quoted Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Vujicic, who has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions of people, said he's grateful to God for saving him from the two biggest disabilities: sin and death.
He said when he was 10 he wanted to commit suicide, and wanted to see someone like him so that he wouldn't be alone. Five years ago in California, he finally met a baby named Daniel, who too was born without arms and legs ... "exactly like me." "Not getting a miracle, I can be a miracle to Daniel ... an older brother of Daniel his whole life ... encourage him."
Nick said if he truly lived without arms and legs throughout his life "just so I can hug Daniel in heaven, it's all worth it."
"I found the purpose of my existence, and also the purpose of my circumstance. There's a purpose for why you're in the fire," he says on his ministry's website. "If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!"