Headaches Into Hallelujahs

  • July 11, 2011
  • #7516

Joni shares that when you struggle in a test and move toward obedience, God sees it as seeking after His heart.

Headaches Into Hallelujahs

Family Retreat Photo Gallery

I like people who are able to turn a headache… into a hallelujah.

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and maybe that’s why I love the story of David in the Old Testament. I mean, one minute this guy is flat-on-his-face in sackcloth and ashes, the next minute he is dancing wildly before the Lord in joy. That’s why David is a man not only after God’s heart, but mine. I mean, here’s a guy who is bent on pleasing the Lord, but he’s not embarrassed to tell you when he’s depressed. In fact with every Psalm he writes, he seems to be bouncing off the wall. One day he is wailing, the next, he’s as happy as a lark. One moment he throws himself down on the floor, completely disgusted with his behavior, and the next, David is effervescing joy like 7-Up. I mean, in the space of just one Psalm, this guy cries, rants and raves, gets depressed, teeters on the edge of doubt, then does a complete turnabout, confesses, repents, and ultimately rejoices in praise. That’s in one Psalm!

And that’s why he’s my kind of guy. I can identify with someone for whom obedience does not always come easy. I’m not glorying in my hardheadedness. No, being slow to obey is not something to brag about. God knows it took a broken neck to back me into a corner to get me seriously thinking about Christ’s lordship in my life. But I’m learning. No longer is a broken neck required of me to be instant in obedience. Now, God may only have to use the pressure of a stint in bed from the flu, or a wheelchair that breaks down. These things aren’t as serious as a broken neck, but they are the means God uses to press my heart up against his. And, oh, I want to seek his heart! I really do.

I think this is why I so love my work among people with disabilities. Especially when I go to one of our Family Retreats. Any one of these families could write a Psalm like David’s. Like me, God has used their illnesses and injuries to back these disabled people and their families into a corner to get them considering Christ’s lordship in their lives. Obedience doesn’t always come easy for them; trust in God isn’t always automatic – I mean, these people go through a lot of suffering. But like me, they know that Jesus keeps using hard times to press their hearts up against his. These are the ones who are skilled at turning a headache into a hallelujah. They aren’t necessarily made instantly holy by their hardships, but like me, they’re learning; they’re growing; like David in the Bible, they are after God's heart. They keep pressing on. In fact I’ve posted the photos of a bunch of these fellow believers in the photo gallery on my webpage – and I want you to look not only at their disabilities, but look at their faces. Look at that perseverance and their smile. Look at their endurance… look at their smiles despite their suffering. Each one of them is turning a personal tragedy into a triumph of praise to God. And it’s not easy; it is hard; but like David, they’re committed to daily picking up their cross and following the Lord. So take a minute today to be inspired over on the radio page of joniandfriends.org.

And finally, one question for you: Are you the kind of believer who is able to turn a headache into a hallelujah? Few, if any, Christians are made automatically holy through their hardships. Most are like David for whom there was no mystical link between trials and triumphs. But it can be done. No matter what your affliction, God can be trusted. So take heart! When you struggle in a test or against temptation, when you move toward obedience, even in a small way today, God sees it as seeking after his heart. And that’s a great path to be on.

© Joni and Friends

Have You Been Encouraged?

  • Your email address will not be published with your comment or be displayed anywhere on our website.
  • We do not rent or sell your personal information to other companies or individuals.
  • For more information please see our privacy policy.