Inspiration from a Wheel-Chair

Yesterday afternoon I took my regular walk for exercise of 40+ minutes around my neighborhood. Because of my recent sore throat, I’ve missed my walks, so I felt pleased to once again get the exercise I need. On my way past the bus stop, I passed a young man in a wheelchair. We exchanged smiles and “Hello”s and I pressed on my way.

“Good for him,” I thought. Although wheelchair-bound, he waits for a bus to go somewhere–even in a light drizzle. I would rather walk than wait motionless in such weather, so I felt a little sorry for him. I admit I also felt a little sorry he had to sit in a wheelchair. I know the handicapped don’t need pity, so I didn’t feel obligated to stop to talk with him. Another time we cross paths, however, I plan to engage him in conversation, to get acquainted, and to learn a bit of his story.

My thoughts ran to someone I’ve recently come to know. Jake French recently graduated from the local National Speakers Association training program, where I am now enrolled.  In an effort to inspire others, especially high schoolers, he speaks to groups from his wheelchair. After college, Jake suffered a traumatic accident which changed his life forever. While his energy at time lags, his spirit is enthusiastic, energetic, and inspiring. Jake inspires.

Jake can inspire you to face your obstacle, marshall your energies to meet it, and overcome it. Check out or Jake’s book Life Happens. Live it! What particular obstacle(s) in life do you face?

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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One Response to Inspiration from a Wheel-Chair

  1. Jake French says:

    Hi Gordon,

    You have put a smile on my face a mile wide, and I feel very honored to be included in your thoughts. As I have traveled the country speaking to middle school students on up through adults, it has been astonishing to learn that everyone has some kind of wheelchair in their life, something with the potential to become an excuse. Here is my tip to take the power back and not be controled by your circumstances: anything multiplied by 0 will equal 0. The challenges that pop up, or hard experiences from the past only have as much power as you give them.

    Thank you so much for using my story to help others Gordon. Let’s make this the best year yet!

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