My Testimony - Mark Grantham

December 01, 2023

My name is Mark Grantham, and this is my testimony.


Growing up, I loved spending time outdoors. With five kids in our family, there was never a question of whether we’d have weekend plans. We were always going somewhere to pursue outdoor recreation. But when I was twenty-four, I suffered a spinal cord injury that changed the course of my life. I had always worked hard to stay in great physical shape. But I went from playing sports and engaging with the outdoors several times a week to spending most of my energy on the basics of daily living.


I remember reaching my lowest point, lying in bed during an ice storm that first winter after my injury. How could I pick up the threads of my old life? There was no going back. And going forward would take a deliberate decision. Would I let this tragedy overwhelm me? Or would I ask God for the grace to bear up under it? Eventually, I cried out to God: “No matter what happens, I will serve You. No matter what happens, You are the source of my strength.” I didn’t have power over my circumstances. I still don’t. But they’ve shown me who I am and who God is.


In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the ins and outs of God’s kingdom and how His children should live in this world. At the end of His message, Jesus explained the wisdom of not just listening to His teachings but following them. It’s like building a house, He said. A foolish person might build their house on sand—flimsy beliefs that shift with every wave or breeze. But a wise person builds their house on solid rock—the unshakeable foundation of God’s truth. When the rain pours down on that house—and it will . . . When the floodwaters rise higher and higher—and they will . . . When the wind starts blowing like a hurricane . . . and guess what, it will . . . That person’s house won’t collapse. That person’s faith won’t collapse. It’s built on solid rock.


I can’t imagine going through this journey without a personal relationship with Jesus. I’ve learned firsthand that God can use a crisis to pull our focus toward Him. When disaster hits, distractions are silenced. We start to realize what really matters. Then we have to choose how to live in light of that revelation. For me, the choice is made. I don’t think of my accident as loss, but as experience and knowledge dearly gained.


Many times, I’ve smiled outwardly while grieving inwardly. I have memories from another life. I live in constant tension between happiness about what I’m able to do and sadness about how different things are. But my life is built on God’s truth. I can say the words of the Beatitudes with total confidence—God really does bless those who realize their need for Him. He does comfort those who mourn. He does provide daily bread—and everything else I need—when I seek Him first.


My life is full, even if it looks different now. My love for nature has never faded, and now I get to share it with my beautiful wife Renée. God has even given me the opportunity to help other differently abled people enjoy nature with accessible boating, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.


Doing all these outdoor activities I love to do is an outward expression of my inward contentment. I have joy that springs out of sadness. I have healing that grows out of hurt. My life isn’t built on the sandy foundations of what I feel and what I think is fair, but on the solid foundation of God’s immovable truth.


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