Practical Wisdom

  • July 6, 2016
  • #8918

Service to others in the name of Jesus blesses not only the recipient but also the giver.

Practical Wisdom

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I love those who serve.

Some of you know that every year I produce a Joni Planner (and have been doing so for over 25 years). It’s a desk appointment calendar with monthly devotionals that I’ve written and some of my artwork is in it. Anyway, I’m always fascinated by stories of how friends use my Planner. I’m thinking of Lynn Wheeler, a quadriplegic who broke her neck when she was in her mid-50s. She suffered a spinal cord injury in a tragic automobile accident. Despite losing use of her hands and legs, Lynn and her husband Doug have kept a bright, buoyant outlook on life. And that has made her a true inspiration to all who know her.

Well, for many years, Lynn has used my yearly Planner to help schedule the wonderful team of volunteer-women who come to her house in the morning to get her ready to sit up in her wheelchair. These women are from her church; some are from a local Christian college. Lynn always keeps a Joni Planner open on her dresser so that her helpers can write down the days they can assist her. One morning, Doug was in the bedroom and he happened to glance at the open Planner on the dresser and he saw what one helper had written. There on the Thursday spot was penned “Serve Lynn.” That really struck him because the helper didn’t write “Work for Lynn,” or “Here’s my hours” or “Schedule me here.” No, these ladies were in Doug and Lynn’s home to serve. It was all about “Serve Lynn”.  

What a blessing it was for Doug to see those sweet words. It told him – and it told Lynn as well – that the girls who were helping had their hearts focused on Christ. They were, as it says in the Gospel of Matthew, they were there to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and help the quadriplegic! And these women were doing it to the “least of the brethren;” that is, a woman who was completely helpless, vulnerable, and totally dependent. “Serve Lynn.” What wonderful words. Those words meant even more after the Lord called Lynn home to Heaven a few months ago, for all the years Lynn was paralyzed, she was the happy recipient of people’s heartfelt service to Christ. Such service blessed not only her, but the many women who loved practicing Christianity with its sleeves rolled up on Lynn’s behalf. Oh, friend, would we not all put our whole heart into every task God sets before us, and do it with an eye to His glory. Just to know that our service would count for all of eternity!

You know, Proverbs 8 has a word or two to say about those volunteers who helped my quadriplegic friend Lynn. It says there (and this is God speaking), “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me… My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.” Wow! You know those wonderful volunteer women found a place in God's heart, all because they did not work for my friend or labor on her behalf, but rather, they served her in Jesus’ name.

Oh, Lord, those reassuring words: God loves those who love Him. You know, I just bet those volunteer servants loved the book of Proverbs. They certainly lived by its principles. And to help you live for and love God in a practical way, I’d like to send you a gift today – it’s a powerful little pamphlet simply called Proverbs, Biblical Wisdom for Today. Just go to my radio page today at joniandfriends.org and ask for your gift. Oh, and by the way, Joni and Friends will soon be releasing my 2017 Planner in just a couple of weeks, so you may want to check that out as well, all for you at joniandfriends.org.

Photo: Livingmadeeasy.org.uk

© Joni and Friends

 

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