Be encouraged and lifted up by the quotes from Joni Eareckson Tada:
“I can’t believe I’ve lived in a wheelchair for almost 50 years. At times it is hard. God has taken me down a rough road – living with paralysis isn’t easy. But on that rocky path, I have discovered many diamonds in the dust, slivers of scripture packed with power – a fragment from a biblical proverb or a snippet of a Psalm…”
“As I look back on 2015, I am so grateful for God’s abundant blessings — blessings like the stamina to have been “on the road” 102 days this year, where I had the privilege of joining Pastor Chuck Swindoll for a Sunday service interview; speaking before international disability leaders at our Joni and Friends Global Access Conference; and attending our wonderful Family Retreat in Texas. Plus, the blessing of having recorded over 8,000 radio programs after 33 years on the air! Not to mention the opportunity to have written on important issues, such as the dangerous right-to-die bill in California. And of course, I praise the Lord for having been declared cancer-free! Wow, what an amazing year it has been! It’s why I want to be like the tenth leper in Luke 17, who came back to Jesus with loud praise, thanking Him for what He had done. Will you join me…”
“The Psalms wrap nouns and verbs around our pain better than any other book.”
“Suffering provides the gym equipment on which my faith can be exercised.”
“We rant and rave against God for the evil we have to endure but hardly blink at the evil in our own hearts.”
“God wants us to be a good example to others who are observing us.”
“There is this fine line between presenting to You all of my weakness and thinking that it can’t be done. In Your strength, I find my own.”
“Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.
Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.
You want a warrior Jesus.
You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.
To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that don’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness.
You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.”
“AS a matter of fact, God isn’t asking you to be thankful. He’s asking you to give thanks. There’s a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your ‘step of faith.”
“But that’s the same for everyone if we let society determine our value,” Steve explained as he sat down on the piano bench. “We always lose when we evaluate ourselves according to some one else’s ideas or standards. And there are as many standards as there are people. A jock measures you by your athletic ability; a student by your brains; a steady by your looks. It’s a losing battle,” he said, striking a sour piano chord for added emphasis. “We have to forget about what people say or think, and recognize that God’s values are the only important ones.” ―
“That truth set me free, along with other truths like leaning daily on God’s grace and realizing that God’s children are never victims. Everything that touches their lives, he permits. The irony is, you can’t imagine a more victimized person than Jesus. Yet when he died, he didn’t say, “I am finished” but “It is finished.” He did not play the victim, and thus he emerged the victor. Forget the self-pity. True, your supervisor may be trying to push you out of your job. Your marriage may be a fiery trial. You might be living below the poverty level. But victory is ours in Christ. His grace is sufficient. Know this truth and it will set you free. This day, Jesus, I can feel sorry for myself or victorious in you. Show me how to choose the latter.”
In 1967 Joni Eareckson Tada was injured in a diving accident at 17 years old, leaving her in a quadriplegic state with minimal use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, Joni re-entered the community with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations.
Joni and Friends began in 1979 at Joni’s house as she and her friends responded to the many questions and needs pouring in from families affected by disability who read Joni’s books or had seen the movie of her life. From the beginning, Joni, her staff, and volunteers devoted their energies to developing Christ-centered programs and services which would help meet the spiritual and practical needs of disabled people and their families, including Family Retreats, the distribution of wheelchairs and Bibles worldwide to people affected by disability, and church training at local and national disability ministry conferences. Joni and Friends continues to reach out around the world to people and families affected by disability with the love of Christ and the practical help they need.
Please visit the web-site of Joni Eareckson Tada at http://www.joniandfriends.org/