• Sept. 21, 2015
  • #8711

When struggling with weakness or pain, remember Psalm 63: He is our help, His right hand upholds us.


Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a little advice for couples.

My husband Ken and I have discovered over 33 years of marriage that the best relationships don’t come easy. They are earned. They are earned the hard way; you know, knowing when to defer to the other, showing gratitude often, carefully picking your battles (not every disagreement is worth fighting on a mountain for). It’s a constant fight to stay open and honest with each other without bruised feelings or wounding the other’s heart. It’s a constant praying often together, reminding each other of the Word, and defending each other’s reputation (man, that’s important; when you feel discontent with your spouse, it’s so easy to rag on him to your friends, right)? But a strong marriage won’t allow room for that, and if you are discontent, then it pushes you to pray, right?

Anyway, Ken and I have this thing where I’ll tell him when I’m feeling weak and he will tell me when he is feeling weak. It means that the other can be on alert to stay strong for that person; to stay strong for our spouse. And it happened the other night for me and Ken. I had been experiencing some unusual pain in my hip, and when Ken helped get me out of my wheelchair and into bed, I could almost feel the claustrophobia in my throat. When I’m up in my wheelchair, it’s so much easier to deal with pain; I can get distracted with phone calls and errands, and appointments and articles to write. But when I’m in bed, there are very few distractions—I can’t move, I can’t go anywhere. I just lie face-up looking at the ceiling. And this particular night, I was feeling panicky because the pain in my hip was awful. And so what did I do? What I have done so many times before, I looked up at Ken and said, “Sweetheart, I am so very sorry, but I am so weak right now. I need help.”

With that, Ken stroked my forehead and then reached for his Bible on our dresser. Without saying a word, he flipped open to Psalm 63 and began to read slowly. As I laid there in bed, I let God's words wash over my anxious spirit, but when Ken got to the sixth verse of Psalm 63, tears welled up in my eyes. ‘Cause these were the words: “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.  Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Ken closed His Bible and said, “Joni, you don’t need any distractions for your pain. It says here, on your bed remember God and think of Him through the night. Remember He’s your help, and if you want, go ahead and sing one of the hymns you like.” Wow!  It’s all I needed to hear. And so, when Ken flicked off the lights and went to do some stuff in the kitchen, I laid face-up in bed, remembering God and thinking about Him, and I started slowly reciting the words to one of my favorite hymns, “Be Still My Soul, the Lord is on Thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.  Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change He faithful will remain.” And after a few breaths, I fell asleep.

I thank God that when I am weak, not only is God strong, but so is my husband. And in turn, I thank God I can be strong for him when he is feeling weak. Are you having trouble sleeping? Take a look at Psalm 63 and remember to let your soul cling to Jesus. Let His right hand uphold you. After all, He’s all the distraction that you need.

© Joni and Friends


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