Joni and Friends Blog
A Healing Attitude
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a Mother’s Day story…
And, okay, maybe you’ve seen those, uh, World War II posters, images on T-shirts of Rosie the Riveter? You know about her? She’s gotta bandanna on her head and she’s flexing her biceps, representing all those women who, during the wars, signed up to work in airplane and ammunition factories? I, I guess during the war, there were a shortage of workers, and so American women they stepped up to the plate…. Their motto was “We Can Do It!” And you know that was my mother. She didn’t exactly work in an ammunitions factory, but she did work on the assembly line to help the cause way back when. Lindy Eareckson was a real “We Can Do It” woman.
And I thought about her very recently when I underwent 35 sessions of radiation for cancer! My husband, and more than a few friends cheered me on with those same words “Joni, you can do it!” ‘Cause they know I’m a real can-do girl, and so, despite fatigue, and skin breakdowns, and fear over my fragile lungs, I moved forward through cancer treatment with ah, ah, a “We Can Do It” spirit. And on the day that I completed my last round of radiation, Dr. Miller, my radiologist, he sat down with me and Ken. And he looked at notes on his clipboard; he shook his head and shared how surprised he was that I had done so well. Sure, I was dealing with fatigue, but not on the level of most people. He smiled and told me that I was a patient who had, well, he said strong character, a strong personality.
And that’s when I told him, “Oh, Dr. Miller, I wish I could agree, but I’ll be the first to say I am a really weak person. I wake up in the morning overwhelmed by my own quadriplegia, let alone cancer. Dr. Miller, it’s just too much to deal with. And honestly, I am not strong. But I’ve got a secret. Yes, I can do it… but only through Jesus who strengthens me. The Bible says that.” I could tell this man did not quite believe me. But… as long as Jesus knew my heart, as long as He realizes I’m running to Him every single morning for help, I am happy. And in that way, I am very much like my mother, because the real “we can do it spirit” is a partnership with the Spirit of Jesus. You lean hard on him. He’s gonna pour His strength through you. It’s how we do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
The fact is, people have no taste for God’s power until they become convinced of their need of it. And often when they are convinced, they immediately forget its value unless they are reminded, day after day, after day of their own weakness through hardships. And friend, it’s why your hardships don’t go away. God has them in your life to remind you of your constant requirement of Christ.
Bishop Ryle has said, “Jesus has many weak children in His family, many dull students in His school, many unskilled soldiers in His army, and many lame sheep in His flock. Yet He bears with them all and cast none of them away. Happy is that Christian who recognizes how much He needs Jesus.” You will know that you have reached the full height and measure of your afflictions when they make you aware of your need, your need of Christ in weakness. Because whether it’s arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme’s disease, quadriplegia, chronic pain, or yes, even cancer, even reoccurring cancer, you will see how these things drive you deep into the strength of your Savior. And that is a wonderful place to find yourself each and every morning. Hey, share this program today with your Facebook friends, especially if you think they have an “I Can Do It” spirit. Tell them it’s all about doing it through Jesus. When you have a chance today, drop by joniandfriends.org.
© Joni and Friends
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