We Will Have Trouble

  • June 21, 2011
  • #7602

Joni shares about a trial she experienced at the end of a ministry trip.

In this world, we will have trouble…

You recognize that scripture, right? From John chapter 16? Well, you know what? Jesus was right! In this world we do have trouble. Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and I want to share a story that underscores that. I had been on a ministry trip that took me back east and I was happy to board the plane and head home to Los Angeles. It was a long, tiring flight, but we were so glad to be back. Ken was off on a fishing trip and unable to pick us up at the airport, so my friend Judy and I waited curbside for the handicap Super Shuttle. Well, it must have not been in service, because after 45 minutes, the driver still hadn’t turned up. It was getting late, we were tired, so Judy hailed a cab and enlisted the reluctant cab driver's help to lift me into the front seat. After that, the driver packed our luggage into the back seat, virtually trapping Judy in. Finally, we chugged away from the curb and clunk! ‑‑ the engine died… right there at curbside. The taxi cab driver got out – Judy tried to do the same, but it was impossible to move the heavy suitcases… we were trapped. By that time, the driver had disappeared and we were beginning to think he had abandoned us. Next we knew, there’s our cab driver coming with the police. Thankfully, after the police jump‑started our taxi cab, we proceeded up the Los Angeles freeway crawling at 25 mph. It was rush hour, and traffic was as slow as molasses. I kept hearing the meter going “ding, ding” chocking up money. This was going to be an expensive ride home!

After an hour, we pulled up to my driveway. Judy realized, to her horror, that we didn't have enough cash for the enormous cab fare. She marched to the front door, turned the key of my house, threw open the door and yikes! The house alarm went off. She fumbled with the alarm buttons and came back to the cab to help lift me into my wheelchair. After Judy let me in the house, I told her I'd be okay while she and the cab driver went to Ralph's Market to cash a check. After they left - brrrring! I tripped the motion sensor in the house! Judy had forgotten to turn off the silent alarm. By that time, my head was pounding… no, no, no it’s not my head it’s pounding at the front door. It was two policemen demanding entry. With the mix-up on the alarms, they had rushed up with lights blinking, looking for an intruder to my home. Well, being a quadriplegic, I couldn’t open the front door – it had automatically locked when Judy had closed it, so I screamed, "I can't open the door!" I couldn't hear their reply, because now the phone was ringing – it was the alarm company. What a mess! That night when we finally got settled, I kept thinking, I bet when Chuck Swindoll travels, he doesn’t go through all this! 

I will never forget that awful trip. But I shouldn't be surprised at trials like these, especially on the heels of doing ministry. If we're going to stand up to make a difference for Christ, we will encounter more hardship (you can bet on it) -- dead batteries, terrible traffic, administrative hassles, broken copy machines, and costly repairs -- as believers standing on the front lines, we will encounter much more than the average couch potato Christian. But remember what Jesus said in John chapter 16. He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." That’s good news to anyone fighting to make their way in this world. So don’t be surprised at the fiery trials. Such difficulty while serving Christ is not necessarily suffering. It's leadership.

© Joni and Friends

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