Spring Cards #1

  • March 18, 2013
  • #8056

There are people all around you today who are hungry and thirsty for an uplifting word: a sick neighbor, a student who is struggling … so join Joni in writing notes of encouragement.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends".

I will always remember one especially busy trip I took: it was winter in Chicago. I had been up all day, first speaking at a pastor’s brunch, then an interview, then a visit to the rehabilitation institute of Chicago, and finally, that evening I spoke at Moody Bible Institute. I don’t know how I allowed my schedule to get that full, but I tell you, by the time I was finished speaking at Moody, I was exhausted. That was okay, though, because there were some people in wheelchairs to greet who had waited around — and I thought ‘You know, if they can hang in here this late, I can, too.’ Afterward, at the back entrance of the church, my husband Ken wrapped me up warmly and told me to wait inside while he went out to the parking area to start the van and lower the mechanical lift. While I was sitting there waiting, my eyes half-closed — I was so tired — a young student from Moody Bible Institute came up and she slipped a sealed note between the side of my wheelchair and my leg. She just gave me a warm smile and said, “Miss Joni, just read it when you get a chance,” and with that, she was gone.

The drive back to the hotel wasn’t far, but it was very cold. It felt good to get inside our warm hotel room. As Ken and my girlfriend were helping me get my coat and scarf off, we noticed the envelope tucked down by the side of my leg. My girlfriend put it on the bedside table, not giving it a thought (neither did I). Later, though, when I was tucked in bed and talking with Ken, I told him how tired I was. As we went back over the busy day, I wondered out loud if such a heavy schedule had been worth it.      

As I was talking, Ken spotted the little envelope on the table. Without thinking, he casually opened it. Then he stopped me midsentence and said, “Hon, wait, you need to hear this.” He then read the note. Actually, it wasn’t a note. The student had simply written down Second Corinthians chapter 9, verses 12-15, and this is what it said:

“Dear Joni. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourself, men will praise God for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” At the close of the verse, the student had made a little happy face and wrote “thank you, Joni. Susan.”

Oh, my goodness, that’s all I needed to hear. Really, honestly, that quickly, God’s word put the busy day into perspective. And it made all the difference on the rest of that trip to Chicago. You know, it’s amazing how far a little bit encouragement will go — and it’s so easy to give it. Especially in a handwritten note such as that student gave me. And when you include a Scripture, ah, that’s where encouragement takes on supernatural power. ‘Cause friend, there are people all around you today who are hungry and thirsty for an uplifting word: a neighbor who is sick; a coworker who’s swamped with work; a student who’s struggling. Give uplifting words today in a note — along with a favorite Bible verse. And to help you get started, I’d like to send you three of my spring note cards with envelopes; the design I painted on the front makes these note cards truly personal. And they are yours for the asking; when we’re done here, just go to my radio page at joniandfriends.org and ask for your free spring cards. Then pass on the encouragement. Pass on the word of God.

© Joni and Friends 

 

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