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A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada
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“He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.

Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.

You want a warrior Jesus.

You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.

To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that down’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness.

You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“AS a matter of fact, God isn't asking you to be thankful. He's asking you to give thanks. There's a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your 'step of faith.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“My wheelchair was the key to seeing all this happen—especially since God’s power always shows up best in weakness. So here I sit … glad that I have not been healed on the outside, but glad that I have been healed on the inside. Healed from my own self-centered wants and wishes.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“Referencing 2 Corinthians 4:6, Robert Hewitt compares jars of clay in the first century to the same value we would put on a cardboard box. Joni Eareckson Tada queries whether we would question God's right to leave some holes in the box in order to give glimpses of the treasure inside”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“We can’t afford to be complacent about God’s glory. The fact is that putting your Christian life on autopilot is the same thing as “walking in the flesh.” When we become unaware, when we take something so precious for granted, our prayers become tedious, witnessing becomes dry, jobs become lackluster, and relationships sag under the weight of selfishness. What’s worse, our communion with our Savior and best friend turns into a chore. The Lord Himself seems to lose vitality in our estimation; He becomes little more than a wooden icon in our hearts, a mere measuring rod for our behavior—someone who purchased our salvation once upon a time, someone in whom we believe in a general, distracted sort of way.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“Tada references the accusation in Jeremiah that the people have forsaken God as Living Water by remembering a hiking trip from her younger days. Reaching a clear stream at the end of her trip, she emptied her canteen of the warm, metallic-tasting water and filled up on fresh water.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“Yes, faith is vital to everything, and “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” But faith’s focus must always be Jesus Christ—and nobody draws close to Christ who doesn’t first share in Christ’s sufferings. Just stop a minute and consider these awesome words from the apostle Peter, who wrote, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). Christ and the manner in which He approached suffering is to be our focus, especially when the weight of our cross seems overwhelming. Man, it takes real faith to follow our suffering Savior’s example!”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“With David, I sometimes sigh, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my hear? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”1”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness. —C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“People who get into this bored, distracted, shallow frame of mind cease to give God the glory He deserves. The book of Malachi contains the sad, poignant story of a time in Israel’s history when the Lord’s own priests—the very ones charged with protecting and promoting His glory—had so fallen out of love with God that they ceased to honor Him at all. Bored and cynical, they offered sick and diseased animals on His altar—the dregs of their livestock that had no worth or value to anyone. And after offering such things, they would say, “This is contemptible,” or “What a burden this is.” You can picture them yawning or looking at their watches as they took their turns in God’s holy temple. If it had been today, they would have been texting their friends or playing games on their iPhones.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“It’s music that can only come from particular instruments, broken in particular ways, and yielded with particular humility. I also believe it brings God glory in a way that is completely unique on earth or in the heavens. And that’s a thought that keeps me going, too.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“When suffering hits us broadside, it’s bound to shake our faith a little—just as if we were driving across a high bridge in a compact car and got hit by a great gust of wind. You have to make sure you have both hands on the wheel! But trials are also meant to waken us to the truth of Daniel 11:32 (ESV), where it says, “The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“The truth is, in this world it’s a 100 percent guarantee that we will suffer. But at the same time, Jesus Christ is 100 percent certain to meet us, encourage us, comfort us, grace us with strength and perseverance, and yes, even restore joy in our lives. Your Savior is 100 percent certain to be with you through every challenge.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“. I need a battlefield Jesus at my side down here in the dangerous, often messy trenches of daily life. I need Jesus the rescuer, ready to wade through pain, death, and hell itself to find me, grasp my hand, and bring me safely through.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“Did you know that kind of attitude is a command? Psalm 100 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” In other words, it’s not an option. Serving Him with gladness isn’t a nice suggestion, as if God were saying, “Oh, by the way, when you serve Me today, would you please smile just a little? It would really mean a lot to Me. It would be just great if you could get your attitude in line.” No, serving the Lord with gladness is not something He would like us to do (if we happen to think about it or feel in the mood); it’s something we’re commanded to do.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“world”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“By the time our conversation ended last night, Hannah had taken a huge turn. She learned that the doubts, fears, and self-centeredness were really the opposite of the faith, hope, and love described in 1 Corinthians 13. She knew that she still lacked faith and hope, and still wrestled with doubts and fears. But little Jenny had shown her that the answer to self-centeredness isn’t endless self-examination, but simply love—a love that reaches outside of itself, and focuses on helping those whose plight is worse than our own.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“It isn’t the hurts, blows, and bruises that rob us of the freshness of Christ’s beauty in our lives. More likely, it is careless ease, empty pride, earthly preoccupations, and too much prosperity that will put layers of dirty film over our souls.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
“We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken. —Amy Carmichael”
Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty