Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The God I Love

I've recently completed reading The God I Love by Joni Eareckson Tada. It was absolutely wonderful. Joni has a true gift with words and this book chronicles not only her life after her injury, but before as well. It is a memoir, and a beautiful one at that. The pictures she paints in words of her growing up years are full of nostalgia and wonder. Her attention to every detail of her early memories is remarkable; and she makes the statement in the book that after her accident memory became critical to her.

As you may know, Joni was injured in a diving accident when only a teenager, resulting in paralysis from the neck down. She is honest about her struggles with depression and anger, as well as her doubt in the goodness of a God who allowed such a tragic event.

As she begins to seek the truth about God through the tutelage of a friend, she begins to realize the truth of both God's sovereignty and His goodness. The theme of the book, as well as the theme of her life becomes: God will allow something He hates to accomplish something He loves.

When she was first injured, Joni tells of being obsessed with the incident recorded in the Bible of the cripple at the Pool of Bethesda. He could not pick himself up to enter the healing waters, but Jesus comes along and commands him to take up his mat and walk. Many years after her accident, without the physical healing she had longed for, Joni has the opportunity to visit the Pool of Bethesda. Consider this portion from the very end of the book:
"You won't believe how many times I used to picture myself here," I called, my voice echoing across the crumpled stones and columns...I leaned on my arm against the guardrail. I whispered, "And now...after thirty years...I'm here...I made it. Jesus didn't pass me by. He didn't overlook me. He came my way and answered my prayer--he said no."

I turned my thoughts, my words, heavenward.

"Lord, your no answer to physical healing meant yes to a deeper healing--a better one...I know I wouldn't know you...I wouldn't love and trust you...were it not for--"

I looked down at my paralyzed legs.

"--for this wheelchair."
Amazing faith. Incredible testimony. Please, go read The God I Love and be encouraged and challenged as you seek to follow the God who is both sovereign and good.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. It sounds like a wonderful book. I teared up reading the short excerpt.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love her powerful testimony...yes, she is a woman of great faith. Her example of godliness is one I cherish in my own life.

    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds like a great read...Amazing considering the bitterness that could so easily be hers...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing that. I'm sure I want to read this book!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I saw her on a video speaking somewhere and she talked about this. It was especially powerful to hear her saying it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. She's a wonderful testimony to the fact that God can do anything. She is a woman of faith because of God's grace. Surely, almost any of us would excuse her if she were angry and bitter until the day she died. But she's not.

    Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read that book after I was diagnosed with MS. It was a source of immense encouragement for me.

    Lisa @ Deo Volente (Jon's wife)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Lisa
    Thanks so much for the review of her book. I definitely must get hold of that! What she says is so relevant! Thanks so much for sharing. I will be on the lookout for it, for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Isn't it amazing! I am constantly reminded that God sees the bigger picture~ HIS picture. My mom has cancer, and my prayer through all of this is that my mom and sister will come to truly know our precious Lord. All things work together for good! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am ordering that book post haste. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It sounds beautiful. I'm putting it on my TBR list right now.

    ReplyDelete