, Corbin, KY

March 4, 2013

Do we really have that much to complain about?

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — A few weeks ago I learned about the amazing story of a true American hero.

Following the explosion of a roadside bomb in Iraq, Marine Corporal Matt Bradford was left in a coma. He wound up losing his eyesight and losing both of his legs.

For pretty much anyone else on Earth, a survivor of such an attack and such a traumatic change would likely call it a day and return to civilian life back in the United States. And absolutely no one would have a right to ask anything more of him. But Bradford did not let any of this hold him back, going so far as to re-enlist into the Marines.

And being a Kentucky Wildcat fan, Bradford was honored by a Rupp Arena crowd during their game against Auburn back on Feb. 9. I was not there in person but I can’t imagine there were many dry eyes in the audience during that moment when Bradford walked out on the floor using two prosthetic legs.

As I reflected on this man’s remarkable story, it not only left me feeling inspired but it also left me feeling very convicted.

You have a Marine Corporal who can no longer see and has to use artificial limbs to get around. If anyone has a right to groan and complain, it would certainly be him. But instead of complaining, he goes and re-enlists into the Marines.

This got me thinking about how many times we complain about things that are not worth complaining about, what we could do with all the time we spend complaining about silly things, and all the little things in life we should be thankful for.

For a lot of people, getting out of a warm, cozy bed for Sunday school or for church is such a difficult chore. But we should wake up and thank the Lord we have a warm, cozy bed to wake up in. And we should thank the Lord we have the opportunity and the freedom to go to church and worship. If we’re blessed with a car, why not pick up someone who can’t drive and take them with you?

We also like to complain about our jobs, or homework at school. When in reality, we should be thankful we have the health to work. And we should be thankful we get to earn an education.

Children like to complain when parents are being “too controlling” and maybe don’t let their kids stay out until 2 or 3 a.m. every night. You should be thankful you have parents who care about your welfare. If you read this newspaper regularly, then you know as well as I do that every other day a meth lab is found in the homes where small children are present. Rather than complain about our parents trying to be involved in our lives, maybe we could do something around the house to show parents how much you appreciate all they’ve done for you. Or maybe if you see someone at school or work from a broken home, maybe you could spend some time sharing the Bible with them because it might be the only chance they get that type of attention at all.

For heroes like Marine Corporal Matthew Bradford, I salute you and all the active military. For everyone else, thank God for all the little things we enjoy that women and men like Bradford have fought for.

—On a side note, I wanted to take time to thank Ms. Mary McKnight from the Christian Health Center for sending me a nice letter through the mail.

She told me she likes to read my column and thanked me for introducing “Duck Dynasty” to her.

She also shared with me several passages from the Bible that I would also like to share with you.

She suggested reading 2 Corinthians 8-9 which talks about giving and giving willingly, and the wonderful grace of our Lord. She also suggested several different Bible verses, such as Colossians 2:14 and 1 Timothy 1:16.

Colossians 2:14 says, “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing to the cross.”

1 Timothy 1:16 says, “But for that very reason, I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”

Mary also included a newsletter from the Les Feldick Ministries. For more on him and his offerings, you can visit

Thank you very much for the letter, Mary. That type of feedback is a blessing and very encouraging for those who try to be a witness for Christ.

Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at