I returned home from work the other day completely drained. I was exhausted and filled with self-pity. My heart felt heavy due to a week of conflict and what I perceived to be countless failures. I had just enough energy to turn on my T.V., in hope of escaping my own thoughts. The week seemed to be filled with, as Solomon said, “chasing after the wind”.
As I flipped through channels, for some reason, the fishing channel caught my interest. Standing on a boat was a surprising sight, a professional fisherman born without legs and only one partial arm. His name is Clay Dyer, and he is an extraordinary man. The 34 year old accomplished competitor has fished in more than 200 bass tournaments and won 25. He donates his free time by taking disabled children fishing. His friends can’t seem to praise him enough. One friend says, “This guy gets it. Clay knows what life is all about, and he lives life to its fullest. Nobody ever got more out of life than Clay Dyer.” Clay explained how the other professional fishermen reacted to his disability when he started competing in tournaments.
“At first, the other fishermen were a little standoffish. They could not understand how someone who looked like me could fish, much less compete in a professional tournament. Most of the fishermen in my early days of competing were uncertain about my abilities – until they went on the water with me, saw me drive my boat and fish.”
When he was born without legs and arms, the world would have Clay believe he could not accomplish much. However, Clay was raised in a Christian family that made sure that faith was a strong priority. He has carried the faith of his upbringing into all that he does today, and he has never let his disability prevent him from believing in God and himself. He says Jesus Christ is his best friend and number one sponsor.
As I watched his story unfold on the TV, I saw the love of God flow from him to all who have been touched by his life. “I am really looking forward to seeing all the wonderful things that we can do to bring joy to those in need,” Clay said. Through the television, Clay began to minister to me. My self-pity could not help but be lifted as I heard Clay quote Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’…
What an amazing man! I turned the T.V. off and felt a change of heart. God certainly used Clay to humble me. Clay’s story did not take away the struggles I was having, but it reminded me of how much God believes in me. God just asks that we believe in ourselves. Clay believes in himself not because he has great physical strength, skills, gifts, etc., but because he knows that God believes in him. “I knew I had a heart, a soul and a mind, which is what really makes a human being,” Dyer says. “Anything else you have is a bonus.” God bless Clay, and may his life continue to bless each person whom it touches.