Joni reminds us that disciplines we develop during times of ease help us handle the challenges we face in times of urgent need.
Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends.
Most of you know my husband Ken and I are going through the Bible in a year chronologically – lots of you have told me on my blog that you're joining us on this journey! Well, I remember back in January when Ken and I were reading through the book of Job. He was just moving along in the 13th chapter at a good clip, and just zipped right on through verse 15. And I said, “Wait, hold on. I want you to read that 15th verse again… In fact, Ken, read it several times." And so he read the words of Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I put my trust in him." Read it again, I asked him, a little more slowly. "Though he slay me, yet will I put my trust in him."
"Okay," I said, "you can keep reading." But by now I had my husband's attention. "What was all that about?" he asked. And so I took a moment to explain that I wanted to make certain I had Job chapter 13, verse 15 memorized for those times when, no doubt, in the near future, I'd be going through some great trauma and would feel as though God were ripping me apart with a knife. I told Ken, "I want to store up that verse in my heart for future times. For times of great affliction when I feel as though God were slaying me." "Hmm," my husband smiled. "That's not such a bad idea… Let me memorize this one, too."
Disciplines we develop during times of ease help us handle the challenges we face in times of urgent need. The main purpose of disciplines like, Scripture memorization or meditation, prayer, or reading hymns of the faith until you know them by heart… All these things are to prepare you for the battles you’ll face in the future.
Just the other week I was going through five or six days of terrible pain in my hip. It was so distracting that I had to lay down at work. And while I rested, I pushed back all the deadlines and appointments I was missing and, instead, recited a stanza from a favorite hymn, "This Is My Father's World." I whispered it as a prayer, "this is my Father's world, and may I never forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father's world; the battle is not done. Jesus, who died will be satisfied, and Earth and Heaven be one." Lying there, I must've repeated that five or six times, each time meditating on some different word.
“This is my Father's world, not the Devil's. Yes, wrong things seem to overwhelm, but God is the ruler, God's in charge. Besides, the battle is not done – this life is wired to be frustrating; we are in the middle of spiritual warfare. Don’t worry, Joni, in the end, Jesus will be satisfied – and it will be heaven on earth.”
Remember, disciplines we develop during times of ease help us handle the challenges we face in times of urgent need. So today, if you are in a pleasant, quiet season of life, take this as a nudge, because normal aint gonna last for long friend. There's a battle on the horizon and you need to get prepared for it. And to help you, I want to send you a CD of a message I gave on the Healing Presence of Christ. All you have to do is go to my radio page at joniandfriends.org, after we’re finished here, and ask for your free copy. Or you can always write me at Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376.
Oh and one more thing. If today you are in a season of critical, urgent need; if affliction is knocking at your door, say with Job, say with me, "Though he slay me, yet will I put my trust in him." That's from Job chapter 13, verse 15, and I encourage you to commit it to memory today.
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