Lessons From A One-Legged Sandpiper

January 14, 2013
by Bethany Hayes

Recently, while sitting by the ocean in northwest Florida, I watched as three sandpipers scurried by. There was something special about one of them. He had one leg and one little stump.

One leg or two, he could still soar. But to walk through the everyday ins and outs of life, to live with an unchangeable circumstance day after day, to survive one-legged in a two-legged world, took courage and determination. For him, living life was an effort foreign to the others.

None of these things stopped this little sandpiper. He hopped alongside the others, determined to survive in this two-legged world. His was a one-legged life, but he made it work.

When he hopped by, I almost missed him. I almost missed his silent courage and seemingly effortless determination. I almost missed this tiny reminder that obstacles can be overcome and that hurdles produce courage.

Sometimes, life seems like a one-legged journey in a two-legged world: off-balance, too much effort, a hindered hop from one hurdle to another. But life doesn't have to stop just because it's hard.

This one-legged sandpiper kept going.

Is there anything stopping us?

Hebrews 12:1b-2a – Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (NKJV)

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the hurdles of life, the hard things day by day that keep us turned in Your direction. Help us not to cave in to our circumstances, but to see them as opportunities to run the race with an endurance that comes only from keeping our eyes fixed on You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Bethany Hayes <bethany828@comcast.net>
Portland, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Bethany for a good word.


    Oh Beth what a wonderful picture of success in God’s eyes.


    Hi,
    We are thankful to you for your devotional. Be blessed today and thanks again.


    Hi Bethany,
    A simple, story, well told. A quiet inspiring message. Well done. Keep sharing.


    Excellent! I am going to share this one.
    Stay warm and God bless,
    (Texas)


    Dear Bethany: Thank you for that word of encouragement.
    It’s waiting on our Lord that is difficult.


    Dear Bethany,
    Heb. 12: 1-2 was a powerful word from God to me after my husband died.
    Thank you for reminding me of it again with this touching picture of the sandpiper.


    Thank you Bethany for your message this morning.
    Especially your prayer!
    God Bless you.
    (NL, Canada)


    What a wonderful message, Bethany. Thank you for sharing.
    God Bless you.


    This came at just the right time.
    I knew after a morning of anger and doubts that “The Comforter” would come.
    He used your devotional to strengthen me.
    Bless you,
    (BC)


    Thank You Bethany for reminding me that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE with GOD == that if you ask him in JESUS name he WILL help you.
    Life can e difficult for people living with any kind of disability and with GOD’s HELP they can manage VERY WELL in society today.


    Bethany I loved it!! And you showed your compassionate heart in taking the time to notice one weak but determined little bird courageously keeping up with the rest of the group as he went hopping alongside them.
    A great lesson for all of us to live our lives with our eyes wide open for similar little ‘everyday miracles’.
    I particularly enjoyed it as I was an outdoor person all of my life at camps and as an outdoor educator.
    God bless!


    A very encouraging piece, Bethany,
    Having had an minor accident some weeks ago, I shall make every endeavour to be like the sandpiper. Since the surgeon claims only keeping on walking as best I can will set things right I shall take hope from your devotional … in the physical realm. I am happy to report that things in the spiritual realm are in good health. The eagle is my main inspiration for his ability to soar but I shall make it my business to copy some of the sandpipers tactics to skip, as well.
    Good devotional!
    Blessings.


    Dear Bethany,
    I have been a reader of this ‘Daily Devotional’ for a few years and I have been amazed at how God has used what people have written for his purposes, according to His will.
    I am the editor and publisher of a publication the Lord directed my to write when I was prohibited to include bible quotes to tell stroke/brain injury survivor’s stories of God’s power and provision or to summarize Christian help books in our local Stroke Recovery Association’s Newsletter by the provincial authority above me.
    I would like to use your devotion in the next edition as it seems to speak to our needs.
    I would like to encourage you in your writing.
    Thank you.
    Your fellow Co-worker in the Kingdom of God.


    Great devotional today Bethany.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for the story about the sandpiper. I have an uncle who has one arm, and I have always admired the way he devises ways of doing what most of the rest of us do with ease.
    Blessings.


    what a wonderful and inspiring story. Thank you for being GOD’S vessel to have witnessed this one legged sandpiper, store the memory and recall it later & connect it to the fitting verse to share with us. An impression it made on me indeed.
    I love this site because of author’s like you.
    I have given many free devotional gift subscriptions to many friends, old and new as well as others I meet in day to day life.
    My prayer for you:
    Thank you. Always enjoy health, happiness and prosperity all the days of your life until called home by FATHER.
    AMEN & AMEN
    (Texas, USA)


    Dear Bethany,
    Your devotional was especially for me today. I sometimes feel a bit like your one-legged bird.
    My hip was broken almost a year ago, and its complete hip replacement has not stabilized into the bone.
    Keep writing.


    Hi Bethany:
    What a lovely devotional displaying the will the little one-legged sand piper. He was a determined little fellow who displayed his courage and determination to keep up with the buddies even if, I am sure, he was off balance at times. The wonderful part about the entire story was the fact that in a tight spot he could lift his wings and fly, fly and sour as well as all his companions, leaving his handicap behind.
    Life is indeed like that, often handicaps get into our way when we try to keep up with others around us and we just can’t make it, we toddle along behind them striving to be like them, but just can’t make the 100% grade. But joy oh joy, the wonderful thing about it is when we leave this old world and step into the glorious light of our Lord, we will have no handicaps and we will be able to sore like eagles and keep up with the very best, knowing God has provided for us an eternity where everything and everyone will be perfect…no handicaps will be present.
    I loved this devotional, it made me realize, one more time, in heaven all will be perfect with no tears or broken hearts.

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