Ten Thousand Things

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 17, 2017
  • Joni's Posts

Ten Thousand Things

A few weeks ago, I was going through a tough season of pain. Every morning I awoke with searing hip pain. My get-up girls tried to ease my suffering with ice and massages, but as soon as I sat up in my wheelchair, there it was, ready to ambush my day. While at work that week, I would have to lay down just to take the edge off. I’ve weathered seasons like this before, so I know enough to be on guard against the temptation of discouragement. I was especially bolstered by this quote from John Piper, “Every day, in every circumstance, God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, but you might be aware of only three of them.”

And it’s true. No matter how long or deep your suffering -- physically or emotionally -- God is up to something in your life. Though you may not see it or feel it, God is refining your faith, honing your character, implanting fresh hope, exposing any resentments, helping you know Jesus better, widening your influence, imparting His courage, expanding your testimony, encouraging your weary soul, and much more… in other words, God is active. Your pain is cultivating something in you that, without the hardship, would not be produced. That’s why we can “consider it pure joy…whenever we face trials of many kinds.” Friend, you can rest in that knowledge, and praise God for the great things He is doing… things you know and know not.


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Joni, My first wife, Lillian Marjorie Steele, nee Darby, was in Girl Scouts with you as a teenager. Your life example after your swimming accident had a profound affect on her. After she was diagnosed with imflammatory breast cancer during pregnancy, she endured much until our son was born. After that day she went through many, many surgeries, radiation and chemo treatments. But through all of it during her time in U of M hospital, she spent every waking minute witnessing to patients. Every day when I walked in from work she had me push her wheel chair to a new room to tell a new patient how much God loved them. I spent 15 of her last 18 months helping her tell others the Good News. You were an inspiration then and you continue today. Bless you, Larry Steele
  • Aug. 20, 2017
  • 5:34 p.m.
  • Lawrence P. Steele
Thank you for sharing. This reminds me to look to Christ for all my needs and not at my circumstances. I am not my circumstances. I am complete in my Savior Jesus Christ the author and finisher of my faith.
  • Aug. 20, 2017
  • 3:06 p.m.
  • Pamela James
God continue to bless you. You are a inspiration of hope to me everyday. thank you for your sacrifieses.
  • Aug. 20, 2017
  • 9:50 a.m.
  • Roberta Lovely
Joni, What a refreshing perspective on this verse and Piper's insight and your example to inspire and persevere when things are painful and unexplained. Thank you
  • Aug. 20, 2017
  • 1:20 a.m.
  • JoEllen Delamatta
I have dealt with chronic anxiety and panic attacks all my life. They are so wearisome but challenge me continually in my faith. Whom will I trust this day, this moment? I feel so done with this problem but God's timing is different than mine. I am thankful for the strength and victory I see daily from the Lord, sometimes minute by minute. Without these I just couldn't take any more.
  • Aug. 17, 2017
  • 6:58 p.m.
  • Kathy
This same encouraging thought was an essential part of the message a visiting preacher shared with us last night at prayer meeting. I can't wait to be astonished when I finally get to see all the wonderful things our Lord is accomplishing in and through us every day.
  • Aug. 17, 2017
  • 8:47 a.m.
  • Kim Nolywaika
Hi Joni, I'm so enjoying your book about you and Ken, which I purchased on my kindle a few days ago. I call it 'a love story with a difference.' I am slightly disabled after Polio as a child, and sometimes lose my balance. God has been with me every step of my life. I also see how God can bring about His purposes in my life through everything I have been through.
  • Aug. 17, 2017
  • 8:40 a.m.
  • Rachel Leeman