I've been reading the book "A Lifetime of Wisdom" by Joni Eareckson Tada lately and boy, is this a keeper for my library! Joni is one of those people that has so much to share, I knew that this book would be a blessing and I would be challenged by it. Of course, I had no idea how the Lord would begin to challenge me through this book. I find myself asking hard questions, probing around the dark places of my heart and asking Jesus to shine His light in those dark places, yielding ground to the Holy Spirit that I may not have fully yielded before. This book fits the definition of a "great book" and as Chip Ingram says, "Read great books!"
The book begins shortly after Joni's diving accident and Chapter 1 opens onto Joni in her hospital room in November of 1967. After recounting some very real and painful struggles with her quadriplegia, Joni moves forward to the current day and writes from her heart what the Joni of today would say to the Joni of 40 plus years ago lying in that hospital bed. Each chapter follows the same format - a scene from Joni's past and her hard won treasures of truth that she has gleaned over the years.
While I cannot possibly know what one day in her wheelchair is like, I can relate to her "realness" in this book. She doesn't candy coat any of her struggles or her emotions, and she doesn't chide anyone else for their reactions to their own hard times. She simply shares what she has learned, while giving glory and praise the the God Who has sustained her for over 4 decades in her wheelchair. She openly admits how hard this road has been for her, and she beautifully shares how she wouldn't change it if she could, because she has gained a deeper and much more precious relationship with the Lord than would have been possible with fully functional arms and legs. And she points the reader to that same Jesus Who has become her "Sustainer" through every moment of every day. It really is a great book that can change your heart and your life if you let it.
I'll end this post with a quote from the book. It's actually a quote from her father - he said, "Don't grasp for the future, Joni. Pay attention to the present." I think my life as a Christian, as a wife, as a mother, as a homeschooler, would be much enriched if I would stop grasping for the future and pay attention to the right now. It's the only time I've got, after all!
Day 11 done :)
Jan L. Burt