The Holiest of Wheelchairs

  • May 25, 2010
  • #7322

Joni reads a verse in Daniel which her friend shared that tells of God's throne having wheels.

Someone told me yesterday, "Joni, there are wheelchairs in heaven!"

And I said, "Say what? No way!" As you know, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and I've lived in a wheelchair for many decades and... I'm banking there better not be any wheelchairs in heaven! Well, my friend started laughing and when I gave her a funny look she explained that in her Beth Moore Bible Study the other morning, they had been reading about Beth's friend who had been confined to a wheelchair most of his life.  According to the story, this man sent Beth an e-mail after reading Daniel 7:9 which states: "As I looked, 'thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.  His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.  His throne was flaming with fire [get this] and its wheels were all ablaze."  The man in a wheelchair, after reading that verse in Daniel commented to Beth Moore: "Beth, I had no idea God's throne is the holiest of wheelchairs!"

"I get it!" I said to my friend. God's throne... a wheelchair... give me a break. You know, though, I always say that in a way, I hope I can take my wheelchair to heaven with me -- I know that's not biblically correct, but if I were able, I would have my wheelchair up in heaven right next to me when God gives me my brand new, glorified body. And I will then turn to Jesus and say, "Lord, do you see that wheelchair right there? Well, you were right when you said that in this world we would have trouble, because that wheelchair was a lot of trouble! But Jesus the weaker I was in that thing, the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. So thank you for what you did in my life through that wheelchair. And now", I always say jokingly, "you can send that wheelchair to hell, if you want."

That thought tickles me, but not long ago when someone heard me say that, they replied, "Oh, Joni. You can't mean that. Look at how God has changed you through your wheelchair. Look how close you've drawn to Jesus because of it. And look at the ministry that came through it and all the people reached. Please, don't say you want God to kick it out of heaven," my friend said, "why, the Lord just may transform it into something golden and glorious studded with beautiful jewels for every person you've reached for Christ through that wheelchair of yours."

And you know what? She had me. She stumped me. After all, the Bible does say that it has been "given" to us to suffer for his sake. My wheelchair is a gift from God - a gift! I never would've chosen this gift, but since God chose it for me, I'll take it as a gift, hard as though it may be at times. So there may be such a thing in heaven as holy wheelchairs... if God's throne has wheels, and the book of Daniel makes it crystal clear it does... then who am I to say that there won't be other chairs in heaven with wheels on them, too? Not to sit in, thank the Lord, but wheelchairs as symbols of the bruisings of a blessing that God has given people like me when he had blessed us with the gift of suffering.

So, friend listening, if you are in a wheelchair, or using a walker, or a cane or crutch... try imagining it gilded and golden and encrusted in jewels. Oh, it's a strange and humorous picture, but remember, it is the gift that causes you to be weak -- and the weaker you are, the stronger you will discover your Lord and Savior to be. More than 40 years in my wheelchair has taught me that -- and in heaven, whether or not my old wheelchair is parked up there by the gates of pearl, feel free to join me in dropping on brand-new, grateful glorified knees before our Savior for all that he has done through our sufferings, yours and mine.

©  Joni and Friends

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