Joni Earickson Tada authored this chapter. I’m amazed at those who are not familiar with this remarkable woman of faith. When she was a typical teenager enjoying horseback rides and swimming with friends, she suffered from a diving accident and has been a quadriplegic living in a wheelchair ever since. That was 40 years ago. She is head of “Joni and Friends Ministry”. She and her husband are co-laborers for the Kingdom and minister to a wide variety of people, some who live in wheelchairs and suffer handicaps and some who have handicaps we don’t even know about. Her testimony is phenomenal, but her authenticity in this chapter is riveting. I had to read and reread it to grasp all the nuggets contained within. She’s a remarkable “jewel” of God’s.
Her purpose in this chapter is based on the question she asks near the beginning. “How do we become jewels that glitter for the King? How do we become treasures that really shine?” She moves us through the process of what being refined through suffering is like and the purposes behind such.
She moves into answering that question with Bible verses and analogies that will leave you amazed as you examine your own life and circumstances in the past and ponder afresh what God could have been doing and may continue to be doing to polish you into a jewel on this earth to fit into His heavenly kingdom one day.
It was while reading this chapter that I became familiar with a verse in the Bible where God says He’s going to do something with all His heart and all His soul. I won’t tell you where it is, because I want to encourage you to read it all for yourself. But, nonetheless, I loved reading that.
To take her story and this chapter one step further I would be remiss if I did not update you on one more trial Joni has had to face in her wheelchair. On June 23 of this year, she discovered she has breast cancer. You can click here to read her news from that day and I encourage you to read her follow-up blog posts as she has been journeying through this trial from the quadriplegic’s perspective. You may have to scroll down to almost half the page to get the original post from her that day.
Let me leave you with some of her quotes from this chapter:
- “God cares most, not about making us comfortable, but about teaching us to grow up spiritually.”
- “We should be grateful for God’s sovereignty, even those many aspects of it that we cannot understand.”
- “Suffering is a chisel in the hand of God to chip away our pride, to bring low our stiff-necked, stubborn rebellion.”
- “You’re being refined by the One who knows how to make your life really sparkle.”
Again, click on today’s title for more reading at the True Woman blog.