Thanking God–for WHAT? !!!
These words stunned me:
God cares most—not about making us comfortable—but about teaching us to grow up spiritually and love him. Every sorrow we taste will one day prove to be the best possible thing that could have happened. We will thank God endlessly in heaven for the trials he sent us here.
– Joni Eareckson Tada in God’s Precious Love
– Joni believes this?
– Joni—the teenaged girl who dove into a lake, hit a rock, and was paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of her life?
– Joni, who has lived over 30 years as a quadriplegic and recently came through a bout with breast cancer?
– Joni expects to “thank God endlessly in heaven for the trials he sent” her here?
Her words felt unthinkable, almost scandalous, when I read them in her small book.
This wasn’t a minister, priest, rabbi, or theologian–they are supposed to write this stuff. The words weren’t from a fifteenth century mystic uncovered in ancient archives and putting us light-weight modern believers to shame. Not even a white-haired grandmother nearing the end of her life wrote the words.
Published almost 20 years ago, this was young adult Joni Eareckson Tada composing and illustrating a small book she entitled, “God’s Precious Love.”
Once suicidal, Joni discovered the force that would reorient her life. She grew to value this force–God’s love–above everything else. Everything.
Can I trust God this much? Enough to see that in my toughest trials He is working to help me grow up spiritually and love him?
Enough to thank him, even now, in my very real life?
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photo credit: judson @ flickr.com (creative commons)