Joni Eareckson Tada Shares Her Story | Kirk Cameron

How Can We Pray For You? Have you signed up yet?

Joni Eareckson Tada Shares Her Story

Takeaways: Kirk Cameron is joined by Joni Eareckson Tada as she shares her story of being paralyzed and finding Christ.

God’s Messages 💌

Today…….I am asking all my prayer warriors to say a prayer that may help others. So many people are hurting right now. Many are struggling with finances and need jobs. Some are facing foreclosure and don’t even know how they are going to make it from week to week.. Many are lonely. . Many are heartbroken. . Many are facing sickness and health is fading. . Some are dealing with difficult family members. Many have lost HOPE.. Tonight, let us put our prayers and faith together decree and declare breakthrough over our families. Financial miracles WILL take place. Jobs WILL be found. Our Bodies WILL be made whole & sickness WILL flee. Marriages and relationships WILL be restored. Family members WILL find Jesus. Heartbreaks WILL be healed. JOY WILL be restored and HOPE WILL be found. In Jesus Name. Amen!!!!!! Keep God First…….

Why should I trust God if he allowed this to happen?
God permits things that he hates in order to accomplish what he loves. God. I don’t have strength for this.
I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.
Talk to those who, who aren’t familiar with your story about what life was like before your accident.
Uh, what, what did you like to do? And what was your relationship with God?
Like, oh, Kirk, we would have gone camping, hunting, swimming, playing tennis, horseback riding, you name it.
I was quite the athlete and as such, I guess I was the least likely candidate to, uh, become a quadriplegic.
But as far as my relationship with the Lord goes, Jesus was kind of tucked away in my back hip pocket and I pulled him out on Sundays and holidays and, and Easter and Christmas.
But, um, when I was a senior in high school, I was frustrated with, uh, with my shallow life in Christ.
And to be honest, Kirk, I had a boyfriend back then and we were doing some stuff on Friday nights that was pretty embarrassing.
Um, it laid me with guilt. Sunday mornings I confess my sins. Oh, God, I’ll never do that again.
But then the following Friday night in the back seat of my boyfriend’s car there, we’d be fooled around again.
And, oh, I just hated the sin. I hated the guilt.
And I said, finally, Jesus, I have entrapped myself in sin. I’ve become a slave to it.
Would you do something in my life to jerk it right side up?
Because I don’t want to be a hypocrite and I don’t want to go off to college making a sham of your good name.
And Kirk, I prayed a prayer in April of 1967 saying God do anything, anything.
I just want to honor you from here on out and you need to help me get free of sin.
And then I graduated a couple of months later and two weeks after that went for a swim in the Chesapeake Bay with my sister dove into shallow water.
My head hit a sandy bottom. It snapped my head back and crunched.
My vertebrae, snapped my spinal cord and I was lying face down in the water paralyzed.
And the next thing I knew my sister was pulling me up out of the water.
I was gasping, sputtering near drowning.
And doctors told me you’ve broken your neck, you’re never going to walk again or, or have use of your hands.
My hands don’t work. I wear arm splints to support them, but that was 55 years ago and I have to confess Kirk that at first I was quite angry at God that he took my prayer so seriously.
Like, hello? I mean, aren’t you being a little severe?
Um I asked for a closer walk with you and this is your answer.
II, I thought God was being awfully unfair and uh but over time, Christians were praying, Christians were loving me and slowly but surely I came up out of depression and I began to ask people, why should I trust God if he allowed this to happen?
So it was a good question to start me off on this journey.
I have known you for years now and my Children have gotten to know you a little bit interning at your disability ministry, Johnny and Friends.
And you’re one of the most inspirational people that I know.
And I’ve heard you say things like God permits things that He hates in order to accomplish what he loves.
I’ve heard you say things that I would rather be in this wheelchair knowing Jesus than to be on my feet without him.
Uh These are things that are so encouraging and inspiring to us, but they’re almost confusing because we don’t understand how you could say those things.
And what does make sense is what you just mentioned. Um Why would God let something like this happen?
Um Johnny, did you ever feel just downright angry and betrayed by God? I felt angry I felt almost betrayed.
But to be quite honest, Kirk, I was, I was fearful of turning my back on him because I had nowhere else to go.
I was paralyzed. I was sitting in the corner feeling sorry for myself. I needed hope.
And I knew that if I was to find hope, it would have to be in God and God alone and I’ll never forget real quickly.
I asked a friend of mine, how can any of this be? God’s will? Come on.
I mean, I thought God’s will was only for good stuff.
And he said, now, wait a minute, Johnny, look at what God allowed in the life of his own son, Jesus.
He allowed murder injustice, torture. I mean, real torture and treason.
How can any of that be good in our eyes or even his?
But again, you said it, God permits what he hates to accomplish something that he loves and yes, he hated the torture, the murder, the treason, the injustice that led up to the crucifixion.
But the world’s worst murder became the world’s only salvation.
And my friend said Johnny, the same is true in your life or any of our lives.
God doesn’t like spinal cord injury. He hates suffering. Oh my goodness.
When he walked on earth, he spent most of his time trying to relieve it.
So he despises the pain and the anguish, but he will allow it to produce something good in your life.
And I said, well, what could that possibly be? And he said, how about Christ in you?
I mean, the God of the universe dwelling in you, changing you turning you from a headstrong, stubborn hypocritical self centered teenager into a young woman who by his grace might appreciate something of perseverance, patience, endurance, self control, bravery, courage.
And over time I began to value those virtues in my life.
And I think that’s when I began to find my smile.
And you do have one of the most joyful smiles of anyone that I know.
And John Johnny, you were enrolled in the most difficult of schools to learn these lessons of patience, of trusting in God of walking by faith and not by sight.
And, and I’ve read your book. I know your story better than some.
And how do you go from that place to finding and discovering the peace and the joy that animates your smile?
Well, Kirk, I’m gonna tell you a secret that I hope um I hope all of our viewers will employ tomorrow morning when they wake up.
I don’t like being paralyzed. Quadriplegia is hard.
I deal with chronic pain, that’s even harder. It makes my quadriplegia feel like a walk in the park.
And, and, and so when I wake up in the morning and my friends are still in the kitchen, brewing coffee and I know they’re going to come into my bedroom in a minute, um and greet me and give me a bed bath.
Do my toilet routines, stretch my legs, get me dressed, sit me up in a wheelchair, brush my teeth, blow my nose.
Oh, and I’m lying there thinking God, I don’t have strength for this.
I can’t do this.
I don’t want to do this and I, I cannot do quadriplegia, but I can do all things through you as you strengthen me and Kirk by 7 35 in the morning, I’ve, I’ve got joy that’s already been hard fought for, but it’s real, it’s profound, it’s deep and it’s lasting.
And, and I think sometimes all of us, God has to push us up against the wall where, where we’ve got nowhere else to go, but turn around, face that wall and start walking through it.
Do the impossible, just do the impossible and say I can’t do this.
But I can, I can do all things to you Jesus as you strengthen me.
And what do you know, God specializes in doing impossible things?
And he will give you that ability to persevere, to endure, to be patient, to move forward, to be courageous, to be brave.
And there’s nothing better than, than having those virtues well up within your heart every morning and get your face on the day.
And I know that you have personal regular disciplines of reading God’s Word and allowing your mind to be saturated with the promises of God.
And you don’t just read them, you sing them every time I come into Johnny and Friend’s ministry building, I hear this angelic voice somewhere in the halls or in the chapel.
And it’s Johnny singing another hymn. Oh, my Fortress is Our God. That’s right.
Or, or, and, and, and the doxology and these are the things that I know have reminded you of the, of the faithfulness and promises of God and you’ve appropriated them in ways that many people have never had to.
But you make it real for us too. Yeah.
Well, Psalm 1 19 verse 50 says, this is my comfort and suffering. Ok? Like what, what is it?
What is your comfort and suffering? What your promises, renew my life. And so Kirk, you’re absolutely right.
I memorize Bible promises left, right and center and I sing them. I sing my way through suffering.
I sing because I have to sing. I mean, my, my circumstances are so awful.
There’s no better word for it. It just, it just, it just awful.
I mean, I could cry talking about it. They are so hard and harsh.
I’ve got to anchor myself like it says in Hebrews, we’ve got to, we’ve got to make Christ our anchor firm and secure.
I’ve hooked the corner of that anchor over the mercy seat and I am not letting go.
Jesus, don’t let me go. I’m thinking of Psalm 63. My spirit to you.
But it is your right hand that upholds me.
I mean, I cling to him and it’s a little weak, half hearted grip.
But, oh, I’ve got the right plant arm of God’s strong salvation gripping me.
He’s not going to let go as long as I continue to yield myself to him.
And that’s what I do every morning. Don’t be thinking.
And I hope none of your viewers think this is easy, man. It’s not easy. It’s so darn hard.
But I’m like Peter. Where else do I turn? Lord? You have the words of life.
So I’m gonna eat those words of life.
I’m going to memorize those words of life, those Bible promises and make them my own.
And I would encourage our viewers to do the same that they’re struggling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button