“…”I love you. Don’t worry. If I loved you enough to die for you, don’t you think my love is great enough to see you through this?”
Something was happening, something for the first time since Jacque lay next to me in the night, singing “Man of Sorrows”: I was caught up in God’s thoughts about me, not my thoughts about him. I was lying in a stream of sunshine, consumed by his compassion for me, not by my anger and doubt about him. My thoughts didn’t even matter now- only his did. Only his mind, his heart. And his mind and his heart were communicating clearly, as clearly as all those visionary moments I rode the horse trail, brushing past tree limbs, as clearly as all those nights by the ocean, under the stars. And he was saying, “Come unto me. Let me give you rest.” “ – From page 183 of The God I Love A Lifetime of Walking With Jesus by Jone Eareckson Tada
I got this book from the library a couple weeks ago. I had recently watched the memorial service in honor of Elizabeth Elliot put on by Wheaton College in which Joni Eareckson Tada was one of the speakers. When this book caught my eye at the library I thought, “oh yeah, I wanted to read her story sometime.” I was familiar with who Joni was and her accident that had left her a quadriplegic at the age of 17. I hadn’t heard her testimony though and wanted to learn more about her, her walk with the Lord and hear the wisdom she has been given through so much suffering.
This memoir written by Joni herself is one of the most encouraging books I have read in my life. In it she tackles head on “pat answers” often offered by well meaning Christians as to the problem of suffering and is not afraid to challenge and ask “why?”
Joni encourages the reader again and again that in the end what God wants from us is for us to know Him and the fellowship of His Son Jesus. My favorite quote from the book which I have been turning over in my mind again and again is,
“God was after my heart. He wanted more than my name in his book and my hand to his plow. He was after more than my signature on the dotted line of an eternal insurance policy. He longed for my heart.” page 145-146
This was such a great read because although it is Joni’s memoir and life story, the tale of suffering is the story of all humanity. While reading I could see my own pain, questions and doubts and my spirit was ministered to.
If you’re looking for a new book to start, or you or someone you know are experiencing suffering I recommend The God I Love.
“Maybe the truly handicapped people are the ones that don’t need God as much.”