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Making sense of hard times

October 8th, 2009

Are you familiar with the life of Joni Earekson Tada?

A swimming excursion with friends ended up in tragedy for Joni when she was only a teenager. She dove into a lake not knowing how shallow it was. She hit bottom, and broke her neck, paralyzing her body from the neck down.

Joni was a Christian, but understandably, she struggled with those questions of why God allowed something like this to happen. How can this be God’s will?

Through the loving explanation by her friend Steve, Joni discovered this truth:

Somehow, some way, God was in control. Heaven and Hell participated in the exact same event when Christ died on that cross. Heaven and Hell participated in the exact same event but for different reasons. Now, no doubt, Satan had his reasons. The devil wanted to put an end to this ridiculous talk about redemption. Stop God’s son dead in his tracks. No more talk about reconciliation, no more talk about atonement. Kill Christ. That was Satan’s motive. But you see, the wonderful thing about God is that He’s a miracle worker and God is in the business of reaching down and, with otherwise seems to be awful horrid evil, He wrenches out of it positive good for us and glory for Himself. God can do that because He’s God…God always aborts devilish schemes to accomplish His own ends and His own purposes. That’s what he did at the Cross. The world’s worst murder became the world’s only salvation.

Joni’s accident was 42 years ago. Today, Joni is the author of over 35 books, founded the Joni and Friends International Disability Centers, and has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work with the disabled all over the world. She has visited over 41 countries, and has a 5-minute radio program that is heard by over a million people.

You may be going through tough times, whether it is in your family, your children, or other aspects of your personal life. As Joni says, we don’t have all the answers. But what I take away from her life story is what she says here and I hope this also gives you hope:

…this wheelchair help me see that the good things in this life aren’t the best things…Heaven and Hell are participating in the events in your life. You know that without me having to tell you. You know that because of the loneliness you feel, the pain, the hurt, the heartache, the tears, the pressure, the discouragement, the Monday morning blues. I don’t have to remind you that sometimes Heaven and Hell are participating in the exact same events in your life but what happens, and who gets the glory and who’s motive is brought to fulfillment in your life, is entirely your choice. The grace is God’s but the choice is yours but, oh, what wonderful things happen, when you trust in God and make a choice to go for His plan, to believe in His purpose, to hold on to His motives for your life.

Read Joni’s story

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