Since he was 15 years old Melethu Sasi earned a living climbing coconut trees and gathering their fruit.
Climbing was something that came natural to Sasi. His body was firm and strong and he could scale the tallest palms quicker than anyone. He did this for 30 years to provide for his growing family.
Then tragedy struck. At the age of 45 Sasi fell from the top of a coconut tree. The fall should have killed him. Instead it left him paralyzed on his right side and with multiple broken bones. For more than a year he was completely bedridden. His sons had to quit school and work to help support the family until Sasi recovered. But medical personnel gave Sasi little chance of ever leaving his bed. Yet after years of determination and physical therapy, Sasi was able to stand on his own feet unaided. But he still couldn’t walk. His right leg and arms were both useless and his body was twisted from the fall.
But Sasi couldn’t bear being a burden to his family any longer. He was determined to train himself to walk again and to use his right arm. By learning to swing his right leg around he was able to take steps. Through sheer force of will he was able to grip with his right hand.
Then his mind conceived a plan whereby he could earn a living and provide for his family. He would borrow money to purchase a three-wheeled scooter that he could use to travel to other towns and sell lottery tickets. But when he appealed to the government officials for a loan, his request was met with laughter. Not only did Sasi’s crippled appearance make his scheme seem ludicrous. The officials knew a large rocky hill blocked his house from the road. They denied his request.
At this point it would have been so easy to become discouraged. But Sasi wouldn’t let a hill stop him. Though the muscles in his arms and legs were nearly atrophied, the now 60-year-old disabled man made the decision to carve a road from his house to the main road. So, armed only with hand-tools, Sasi began to chisel away at the sandstone hill. It was painfully frustrating at first. Sasi could barely hold a pick, much less swing it with any accuracy. He lost his balance and fell repeatedly. But he pushed himself to get the hang of it. The distance he would have to cut through the hill was greater than the length of two football fields. But he kept chopping away at the rock, filling a sack with the broken pieces, and then hobbling away to dump them. Work was agonizingly slow and when neighbors found out what he was trying to do, they derided him.
Yet Sasi did not give up. He was determined to put his plan into action and make himself productive. And as the road began to take shape, his neighbors began to change their tune. They offered him words of encouragement instead. But no one chipped in to help him dig.
Three years later Sasi had nearly finished cutting a 625-foot road through the sandstone. One obstacle remained – a large telephone pole lay directly in his path. He petitioned the local government to move it, which they refused to do. But by this time Sasi had won many friends and fans. The media began to pick up his story and inspired public pressure on the government to move the telephone pole out of his way. Fortunately, Sasi’s determination also inspired contributions from the public to help him purchase his three-wheeled scooter. He now rides it daily to nearby towns to conduct business and once again support his family.
You know, I get discouraged so easily if circumstances are not conducive to my efforts, if I’m in pain, or if I don’t receive words of affirmation. Sasi’s determination is an indictment against my wimpiness. Sasi had every reason to quit, feel sorry for himself, and conclude “everything’s against me.” But he refused to give up. Let his example linger in your memory.
Store it away for the next time you’re tempted to get discouraged because of difficulties and allow a God-inspired dream to die.
“For you have need of patient endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:36).
Dear Heavenly Father, even though it may take tribulation and affliction, please develop in me the determination and perseverance I need to fulfill Your plan for my life and receive the promise of eternal life. Amen.
If you are dealing with this issue, you do not need to face the challenge alone. Jesus has conquered every challenge so you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming hope. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.
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