Quiet Under Pressure

  • Jan. 22, 2010
  • #7235

Joni reads a poem by Alice Mortenson and shares a lesson she learned from having to stay in bed.

I can say from experience, having to be in bed for a long time is no fun. 

And you'd agree, I bet; and you don't even have to be a quadriplegic like me.  Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and not long ago, when I was traveling, the airline gate agent was helping to lift me out of the airplane seat and onto one of those little tiny aisle chairs.  Well, it was a hard landing and that night, sure enough, we noticed the skin over my left sitting bone was pretty red.  Within a week, there was a tiny crack in the skin.  That's what my husband Ken announced that the sore had officially opened.  He gave me a knowing look.  We both knew what it meant - no more sitting up for me in a wheelchair; I'd have to stay in bed until it healed.  Believe me, I was not a happy camper. 

My first day or two in bed was the pits.  I felt frustrated, I felt discouraged.  But I knew I could not live with an attitude like that.  So that night in prayer, I talked to the Lord about His purpose for this pressure sore and this long stint I would have to be down in bed.  And what came to me as I prayed?  Well, it was the last verse from Psalm 27, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."  That was my answer - lying in bed would be my time to wait on the Lord and He would provide the strength for my heart to endure it with a smile. 

And the next day I woke up - it was a work day - but strangely, I didn't feel any resentment over my circumstances.  Instead, I felt calm and at peace.  Ken filled the birdfeeder outside my window so that I'd have visitors for the day, and my girlfriend came up to do some typing by my bedside.  That just so happened to be the day I came across a poem in my readings, a poem by Alice Mortenson.  It was called, "I Needed the Quiet."  And it goes like this...

"I needed the quiet so he drew me aside; Into the shadows where we could confide, Away from the bustle where all the day long I hurried and worried when active and strong.  I needed the quiet though at first I rebelled, but gently, so gently my cross he upheld, And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things, Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings -- To heights never heard of when active and gay, He loved me so greatly he drew me away.  I needed the quiet, no prison my bed, But a beautiful valley of blessings instead - A place to grow richer in Jesus to hide; I needed the quiet so he drew me aside."

It took a little over a week for that wound to heal and, in fact, when it finally did close, I was content enough to stay four more days in bed just to give the new skin a chance to get stronger.  After I was able to sit back up in my wheelchair, I asked the Lord Jesus to help me remember the quiet lesson He taught me about waiting on Him.  I was glad for that week-and-a-half I had to stay in bed.  It reminded me of something I once read by James Montgomery. He said, "I cannot call affliction sweet; And yet 'twas good to bear; Affliction brought me to His feet, And I found comfort there."

By the way, if you'd like to download a copy of that poem by Alice Mortenson, or this special quote from James Montgomery, you can do so at joniandfriendsradio.org. And don't forget, today is your last day to ask for those three scripture bookmarks which include my artwork.  Just visit joniandfriendsradio.org... take heart, be strong, and wait on the Lord. 

©  Joni and Friends

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