'The Luckiest Man': a movie review

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‘The Luckiest Man’: a movie review

January 19, 2016 - Ryan Denison, PhD

The Luckiest Man - Official Trailer (Credit: Fotolanthropy via Vimeo)

{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #c0c0c0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/136612357″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}The Luckiest Man is a powerful presentation of a man whose soul was set free as his body became a prison. It chronicles the journey of John Paine and his family as they look back on the way God has redeemed his ALS diagnosis and the myriad ways that the disease has impacted their relationship with each other and with Lord.

Prior to his diagnosis, John was a fiercely independent business man who prided himself on his ability to manage a consistently busy schedule. While family and the Lord were always important to him, they were not always the priorities that they should have been. However, all of that began to change following his diagnosis.

In the documentary, John describes a particular moment when that spiritual change began to take root. One night, as he lay in bed becoming increasingly frustrated with his inability to pull the covers over his body, God spoke and gave John a new understanding of how he planned to redeem this disease. The message provided a renewed sense of purpose and would prove foundational to the perspective that allowed John to persevere and grow stronger spiritually as he grew weaker physically.

That night, God reminded John that the greatest blessing we can know in this life is an intimate and unrestricted relationship with him. It was a lesson that John had neglected when his body allowed him to do so but one that he would come to understand on an ever deepening level as the years went by. Moreover, it is a message that he has been allowed to share with countless people as the Lord uses him to mentor and minister to those placed in his path.

While it shouldn’t take physical limitations like John’s for us to truly appreciate the importance of a close walk with the Lord, it is humbling how often we need that sort of reminder to fully embrace intimacy with God once again. And the message of John’s resilience and joy in the midst of illness and paralysis is a testament to God’s ability to redeem even the most difficult trials for a greater good. For John, that redemption has allowed him to say with unwavering confidence, “If I were given the opportunity to be fully healed and be able to hold my wife’s hand again, put my arm around her, hug my grandchildren, pick up a cup of coffee . . . but in doing so I would have to go back to my former relationship with God . . . let me tell you I would choose every time to maintain the relationship with God 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.”

Are you really living today? The Luckiest Man doesn’t allow us to continue on with our lives without first asking that question. And, if you’ll really listen, chances are it will become clear that it’s a question God’s been asking you for quite some time. So what’s your answer?

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