Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

“Go home and get your affairs in order,” the neurologist told him.

John Paine, a successful businessman, was diagnosed with Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) 17 years ago. This condition is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a condition that affects nerve cells and the spinal cord.

The average life expectancy following an ALS diagnosis is typically 2-5 years. At the time Paine was given his diagnoses, he thought he had lost it all. Not only was he dealing with a serious physical uphill battle, but also a heavy emotional battle.

However, during his painful physical deterioration, John discovered a transformation that he never envisioned happening. During this period, he learned to lean into God and when he did this, he discovered true loving.

Today, Paine trusts in God and is motivated by a desire to inspire and encourage others. He learned to relinquish control and intentionally live in the present and that decision has made all the difference.

His perspective on how this disease transformed his relationship with Christ is moving. His story also challenges us to think about how God wants to use life’s difficulties to transform our hearts and our lives.

Paine says, “If I were given the opportunity to be fully healed and be able to hold my wife’s hand again, and put my arm around her, hug my grandchildren, pick up a cup of coffee, not have to drink it out of a straw, if I was able to be healed again and fully well, but in doing so I would have to go back to my former relationship with God. If I had that option, or I remain paralyzed, eventually will suffocate, but I got to experience this incredible relationship with God, I will tell you I would not hesitate. I will choose every time to maintain the relationship with God that I have today over anything because this is true living, and it’s the reason why I admonish men daily to not wait until they’re dying before they start really living.”

He now continues his love for personal mentorship by challenging other men to passionately pursue deeper relationships with others and with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In the documentary, “The Luckiest Man” which is told through interviews with Paine, along with family, friends and colleagues discuss these difficult circumstances and his outlook shift which allowed him to see that he still had an incredible life worth living.

Now “The Luckiest Man” is a memoir, where Paine tells his story, recounting the ways God intervened in his life, freeing him from all that prevented intimacy with God, even as he slipped into pain, paralysis, and further toward death.

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