Overcoming Obstacles

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Paul Wittgenstein came from a well-connected family. Their home frequently was visited by Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and other cultural luminaries. It was not surprising that Wittgenstein, who was born on this day in 1887, became a professional pianist, making his public debut in 1913.

However, while serving in the Austrian army during World War I, Wittgenstein was wounded and his right arm had to be amputated. To most people, this would have ended any hope to be a professional pianist.

But Wittgenstein was determined to continue the pursuit of his dream, even if this meant using only his left hand. He dedicated himself to this improbable goal, rigorously practicing with his left hand.

He then commissioned piano concertos for the left hand alone from Benjamin Britten, Paul Hindemith, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, and other leading composers. Many of these concertos are still played today.

Because Wittgenstein refused to give up, the world was enriched with many musical masterpieces. And, as he played these pieces in concerts worldwide, he was encouraging others not to give up when they faced adversity.

Some people give in to their handicaps or allow themselves to be defeated by obstacles. But others are like Wittgenstein, or like Zaccheus, a man who was small in stature. It would have been easy for him to stop trying to see Jesus, but he refused to give up. Jesus rewarded him for his persistence.

Do you face any handicaps or physical disadvantages? Are there obstacles before you that seem overwhelming? Have you given up because it seems there isn’t any hope?

In every circumstance, have faith in God. Look to Him, confident that He can help you overcome obstacles and turn defeat into victory. Do not doubt, but trust Him for miracles.