When I was a young teenager my mom gave me a book to read that I’ll never forget.
If you’ve never read the autobiography of Joni Eareckson Tada, go now. The public library surely has a copy you can check out!
I was inspired by this story – so much that I still have it sitting on my bookshelf. Maybe it’s time for me to pass along this story to my own daughter and continue the tradition.
July 30, 2017 marks 50 years since the diving accident that changed Joni’s life forever. She’s been a quadriplegic ever since and accomplished more than anyone would ever believe in the past 50 years.
To celebrate her 50th anniversary in a wheelchair (only Joni would “celebrate” a diving accident), she wrote this article that is such an incredible testament to God’s grace.
There are so many takeaways from reading Joni’s reflections, but this one paragraph stands out the most for me.
Back in the ’70s, my Bible study friend Steve Estes shared ten little words that set the course for my life: “God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” Steve explained it this way: “Joni, God allows all sorts of things he doesn’t approve of. God hated the torture, injustice, and treason that led to the crucifixion. Yet he permitted it so that the world’s worst murder could become the world’s only salvation. In the same way, God hates spinal cord injury, yet he permitted it for the sake of Christ in you—as well as in others. Like Joseph when he told his brothers, ‘God intended [my suffering] for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives’” (Gen. 50:20).
Oh, that God would teach me to view life and sufferings through this lens – to accomplish His will in me and others.
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