Donna Reedy

  • Nov. 13, 2014
  • #8489

Donna Reedy may be almost blind and have only use of one arm, but even in her last days of life she praises the Lord.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a sweet story about an old friend.

It's amazing how the glory of God always shines brighter through the praise of His people who suffer. That’s a fact! When you are hurting; when praise and thanksgiving are hard; when it goes against your grain because you are dealing with a wheelchair, or a leg injury, or a stroke, or the encroachments of old age. When you suffer yet still give God praise and glory and thanksgiving, it means so much more to the Lord. It shows Him – actually proves to Him – that, despite the hardships and headaches, we think He’s worth it. We think He deserves the praise. We think He’s that great, that good that we would still be glad and thankful in Him, no matter what it costs us; no matter what the pain; no matter how difficult things are.

Donna Reedy is one of those people. Donna is from Illinois and many years ago when she was a little girl, she taught herself to play the piano. Donna loved to serve the Lord when she was younger – she volunteered with Joni and Friends on many occasions, and her spunky spirit and ready smile was always appreciated. Many years later in her 70’s, she became ill and five years ago she suffered a stroke which left her without use of the left side of her body. Her health began to deteriorate more, and now Donna is in hospice and nearly blind.

I called Donna the other day and together we prayed and sang on the phone – I was so blessed to be talking to this woman who, despite her pain, blindness, stroke, and physical weakness, she still delighted in speaking about the goodness of God. As we shared on the phone, I kept picturing the Lord smiling and nodding His head, thinking, Yep, yep, that’s my child – trusting in me through it all.

Sometimes it helps to imagine the pleasure of God when we sacrifice to Him our thanksgivings. Yes, it costs us something. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, our logic and our human nature tell us to doubt Him; to resent His ways with us; to be bitter about our circumstances. But when we hold fast and trust Him in the hard places; when we offer up praise to Him and thanksgiving for the things we do have; for the health or abilities we do possess it brings Him so much pleasure. So much delight. And that’s what I like to picture when I obey Him through difficult times.

Donna’s son, Ethan, wrote me after my phone call with his mother. He said:

"Joni, whenever my mother thought she could not endure the life she faced daily, she remembered God's faithfulness to you and she was encouraged. Up until the last few weeks, she would play hymns on the piano – she would do it one-handed for hours on end as a testimony to God's faithfulness."

Ethan sent me a short video he took of his mother playing – with one hand – the song “Jesus Paid it All”. Oh, what a gifted pianist she is and I posted her performance on my radio page today for you to see at joniandfriends.org. You really must take a minute and be blessed by this elderly, nearly blind, hemiplegic woman giving God the praise at the piano – so don’t forget today, it’s at joniandfriends.org.

And remember friend, when you offer praise to God through affliction, you are a beautiful example of Psalm 107, verse 22 where it says, "Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy." So today, through the toughest moments, give God thanks -- it’ll give Him much pleasure!

Let me hear from you today on my Facebook page, or you can always post a comment on my blog at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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