Faith That Glorifies

  • July 27, 2017
  • #9194
Faith That Glorifies

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a story about how to trust.

The other day I was backing my wheelchair out of my van on a very steep hill. I could not see behind me, and given that the van was tilting a bit, it made the ramp all the more steeper. And it was so scary. Now my husband Ken was behind me with his hands on my wheelchair, and he kept saying, “Joni, its okay. I’m here; I’ve got you. Come on back.” But it sure didn’t feel like he had me. Would he have enough strength to hold me back? Would my wheelchair be too heavy for him? Was Ken even thinking about these risks? Well, knowing that several people were looking on, right then I had a choice. I could either make my husband look good by trusting him and blindly backing out of the van, or I could make my husband look untrustworthy by refusing to budge. My decision to either back down the ramp or not was based on my husband’s character and whether or not I would trust his word.

Needless to say, I put my wheelchair in reverse and I went down the steep ramp backward. I was not about to convey to onlookers that my husband was unreliable, or that he didn’t know better, or that he was unable to help. And as you’d guess, I made it to the bottom of the ramp just fine.

In the same way, we glorify God when we trust Him to do what He promises to do—especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. And the harder it seems for God to fulfill His promise, the better He looks when you trust Him. That’s exactly the position I found myself in when I broke my neck 50 years ago. That’s right, this weekend will mark five decades ago that I took that reckless dive into shallow water that hot, July afternoon. When doctors told me that my paralysis was permanent, I had a hard time reconciling that fact with the Bible, which told me to trust in the Lord with all my heart. But the future looked so scary. Was God's grace strong enough to lead me into the future? Did God even understand how hard this was going to be for me? Over the months, I realized that I could either make God look good by trusting Him and blindly wheeling into a life of total paralysis, or I could make God look bad with my resentful feelings. I could stain His reputation by telling others He was being unfair. My decision to either trust God or not trust Him was based on God's character and whether or not I thought His Word was reliable.

It may have taken a long time for me to get there, but finally, finally, I trusted Him. I took Him at His Word that His grace would be sufficient, and His plan for me would be good. And I can tell you after 50 years in this wheelchair, the best thing I can do for myself, the best thing I can do for anybody else who might be observing my life, is to trust God. There’s nothing more invigorating, nothing more satisfying, nothing that makes me happier than making God look good. Nothing feels better than touting His reputation. Nothing's more satisfying than talking up His goodness and showcasing His character. It’s what it means to glorify the Lord, and I am celebrating doing just that, as this weekend, I mark 50 years in my wheelchair. So today friend, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Do so and it will really make God look good! And hey, celebrate with me by going to joniandfriends.org/radio and getting Joni’s Story foldouts for you to give to friends. Together, let’s tout how great the Gospel is and how great our God is.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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