Joni shares a favorite Bible verse of a Ghanaian woman that she met on a Wheels for the World outreach.
I can’t wait to tell you what happened on the recent Wheels for the World trip...
Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and you will often hear me talk about things that happen on a Wheels for the World trips -- that's where we distribute Bibles and wheelchairs to needy, disabled people.
Well, on this particular Wheels for the World trip, I was in Africa talking with a sister in Christ. We were in a small Ghanaian village, and I was so impressed with her quiet, humble spirit. Her son had a severe disability and earlier in the day he had been fitted to one of our pediatric wheelchairs. Anyway, this woman wore this beautiful, colorful tribal clothing with a turban-like headdress in the same fabric, it was so stunning, so colorful. Although I guessed she was young, her hands were weathered and lined. After she shared her testimony, I happened to ask her what her favorite Bible verse was. And a knowing smile spread across her face and her eyes lit up. Without hesitation, she replied, “And it came to pass” – just like that! I gave her a puzzled look. She told me, “Joni, wherever you look in the Bible, there it is, my favorite verse... ‘It came to pass.’” It was a familiar phrase from God's Word, but I had never heard anyone claim it as their favorite so I asked her to explain.
She said with a sigh, "it is a hard life we live in this country of ours. The weather is harsh; the crops sometimes fail. It’s at those times we don’t know where the next meal is coming from. We have no money, nothing to offer our children. But we have God!” Wow! “And we know he will take care of us,” she continued. “We can look at the misery around us and know that God will see us through. Then we can smile and say, ‘It came to pass.’”
I was so struck with that insight. I had never thought of that verse in that context before. And I sat there for a long moment, marveling at her simple wisdom: “And it came to pass.” It reminds me of I Peter 5 where it says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you.” True, I don’t face drought and failing crops, but I am a quadriplegic, my hands and legs don't work; and it’s why I appreciate the words, “After you have suffered for a little while.” Our troubles -- and believe it or not, the troubles of that African tribal woman and her disabled son -- her troubles, too, are but momentary according to II Corinthians chapter 4, and very soon hardships will be behind us. And oh, friend, can you even begin to imagine the joy the reward, the thrilling time when it's all behind us -- no more tears, no more sorrow, pain or death! I can't wait. Earth may have our attention now, but even this too shall pass.
What hardship are you facing today: A knee replacement and a painful time of physical therapy? Ninety day due bills and a collection agency breathing down your neck? A hacking cough that's just not going away and it's wearing you down? An insurance deductible that's just not covering what you hoped it would? Well, thank the Lord that you too will soon say, “It came to pass.” There is so much happening through Wheels for the World right now. We’ve got lots of new outreaches. And if you’d like to join a Wheels for the World team as a Wheels for the World mechanic or if you’re a physical therapist, consider serving with us, would you? Just visit our Wheels for the World page at joniandfriends.org. For all the details and more, you can always contact us at PO Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376. Until next time on Joni and Friends.
Previously aired as program #7078 on 6/17/09.
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