Born without arms, Daniel Ritchie faced a unique kind of adversity. Yet after he surrendered his life to Christ, he learned that only in Christ could true worth and purpose be found—freeing him from comparisons and restrictions. He was able to live a full life that seemed impossible. Enter into Daniel’s story in his new book, My Affliction for His Glory. In this excerpt, illustrated in a captivating video trailer, see how Ritchie tackled life’s challenges by seeing himself through Christ’s eyes.
I’ll never graduate.
I’ll never amount to anything.
I’ll never find someone to spend my life with.
I’ll never do anything that matters in the long run.
“Never” is a word I’ve heard a lot in my life. Having been born without either of my arms, I spent the first few years of my life being told all the things that I would never be able to do. I remember my mom saying, “Everything doctors said started to seem less like professional opinions and more like prophecies of doom.” In their professional opinion, I was a lost cause. I was too broken.
One “never” builds on another that builds on another—and eventually you buy the lie that you will never succeed, that you will never amount to anything. For much of my life I faced the battle in my heart that I was going to live up to the doomsday prophecies that my doctors offered. For a time, I was convinced they were right. It was going to be far too difficult to make my feet do what hands were meant for. A man with no arms was never going to fit in a world where everyone has two arms.
But God had more in store for me than to be a victim of a life defined by the things that I was never going to be. In the genius way He crafted me, I learned to do the everyday tasks meant for hands with my feet: brushing my teeth, combing my hair, fixing a bowl of cereal or even making my morning coffee. The things I was told I would never do—walk, eat, dress myself, live independently—I now do with ease.
The Scriptures are littered with people who never should have found a way out of their circumstances: Joseph, Moses, David, Ruth, Job, and Paul were all people who should have been defeated by the enormities they all faced. Yet, God triumphed in the lives of each of these people. God doesn’t say “never.”
Ultimately, this book is a gospel book. I offer many stories in these pages: each story is evidence of God’s grace and movement in my life. Even in the times when I had not yet claimed Christ as my Lord, God was working through each joy and each heartbreak. I might have the most visible part in each story, but the story I am telling is His story. This is about His grace, His strength, and His sovereign hand. This is His book.