Come and Reason

  • Dec. 29, 2016
  • #9044

During trials, we need to move past the emotional stages of weeping and fear, and search God’s Word for His perspective on the matter.

Come and Reason

Somewhere along the line you’ve got to finally put away that box of Kleenex.

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and you know it’s true, don’t you because when tragedy blindsides you and almost knocks you silly, you need that box of Kleenex. You feel bewildered. And that’s understandable. You feel confusion and panic. And you cry; that’s understandable, too. You may feel afraid that more hardship is gonna come on top of it all. Even fears like those are understandable, they are. You may feel frightened. You may feel like cursing. Or praying. You may feel a thousand things. But at some point, somewhere along the line in the midst of that trial, if you don't stop feeling and start thinking about how to attend to the circumstances you find yourself in, you'll freeze. Your faith will shrivel. Your soul will just dry up and die.

I remember when the reality of this paralysis began to sink in, when I slowly began to realize I would never walk or run or be able to use my hands to hold things; when I realized I would be completely dependent on other people for everything from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, I felt all those emotions: bewilderment, confusion, panic, fear, worry. And boy, did I go through many a box of Kleenex. Because yes, intense suffering calls for deep emotions, even crying. In the aftermath of a terrible tragedy, people weep. We should weep. God weeps. But there is also a time to think.

When you are able to raise your head above the heartache in which you are swimming, the Bible tells you to take the next step and move forward. God's Word is full of commands to "think,""ponder,""consider,""weigh," and "judge." You’ve got to search to understand God's perspective in your trial. Look at how Jesus encouraged people to get into the Word. He often turned questions about the meaning of suffering back on the questioner. "What is written in the Law?" He would ask. People would blink, sniff back their feelings, flip the pages in their mind, think out loud, and come up with the relevant passages. But this didn't end the discussion. Next was the real work: "How do you read it?" Jesus would ask. That is, what do you think these scriptures mean? Jesus never allowed room for sloppy or sentimental thinking about the tough issues of life.

There came a time in the early days of my wheelchair when I had to move past the Kleenex box and the self-pity and I had to truly weigh and consider what God was doing. And it required for me to get into the Bible, find those passages that resonated, and then take steps of faith to move beyond my tears. I had to obey when God's Word was telling me to give thanks or not lose heart or press on or pray without ceasing. It was anchors of scripture like these that moved me out of self-pity and pushed me forward onto a new level of trust and confidence in God and His plan for my life. Friend, had I not done that – had I remained stuck in my emotional funk – it would have soured my friendship with God and eventually destroyed it.

What you think about God really does influence your friendship with Him. How and when you move from despair to delight in Him truly does affect how much glory you give Him. Your thoughts about God (especially when you’re hurting from that news about that cancer, or still struggling up out of that terrible accident), friend, your thoughts about God during those times might not be reliable. If, during a hard trial, we simply lean on our emotions about God, we end up recreating Him in our own image. So today, instead, press yourself into God's Word to truly understand His heart in the matter. It’s the sure and only way to becoming truly mature in Christ.

*Previously aired as #7212 on 12/22/09

 © Joni and Friends



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