I write about suffering.
I have been all too familiar with it for decades. In many ways, my life has been intensely painful but at the same time breathtakingly sweet.
The sweetness has come from walking with God. Many of you know that paradox as well, as you found the faithfulness of God in the darkest of places.
No one I’ve ever met demonstrates and lives that paradox more than Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni, who was paralyzed at age 17 in a diving accident, has a radiance that shines against the backdrop of unspeakable life challenges: quadriplegia, riveting pain, and cancer to name a few.
I marvel at this because quadriplegics generally don’t live very long. She doesn’t look 65 though; Joni looks like she’s in her 40s. Anyone who has met her would agree that she is stunningly beautiful.
But mostly I marvel at this because Joni has been faithful, blessing God and proclaiming His glory, for almost 50 years of quadriplegia.
This is why Joni is my hero. Not because Joni is so amazing, though she is, but she demonstrates what God can do in a life yielded to Him. Her life points to a magnificent God who is beyond compare, who can elicit genuine praise in the midst of deep suffering.