Faith: Joni's Story

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Faith is believing that God will give us the strength to face our challenges, difficulties, and hardships.

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17: 20B 

As a high school student in 1967, Joni Eareckson Tada dove into a lake and broke her neck.  If somebody hadn’t rescued her, she would have drowned. She survived as a quadriplegic. Tragic as her story is, over the years, she has become a symbol of great faith and perseverance.

In an interview with World Magazine, Joni was asked about her faith. “As a 14-year-old, I’d embraced Jesus as my Savior, but I had confused the abundant Christian life with the great American dream,” she replied. “I was a Christian. That meant I would lose weight, get good grades, get voted captain of the hockey team, go to college, marry a wonderful man who made $250,000 a year, and we’d have 2.5 children. It was “me”-focused. What can God do for me? She added, “I almost thought I’d done God a great big favor by accepting Jesus.”

After the accident, lying in that hospital bed, she shared about her struggles. She wanted to die. She wanted to give up on life.  Thankfully, she didn’t give up.

She was asked, “When were you able to pray again with faith?” Joni replied, “Finally, under the power of other people’s prayers and hints and whispers of the Word of God, I prayed one short prayer that changed my life: ‘Oh God, if I can’t die, show me how to live.’ That was probably the most powerful prayer I had ever prayed.  And my depression began to lift and the despair to dissipate.”

We see from the life of Christ, as He willingly went to the cross, that sometimes the mountains we face aren’t removed. Sometimes, the way God moves our mountain is simply empowering us to trust Him and to move ahead in faith, believing that God will help us climb. Faith is believing that God will give us the strength to face the challenge, difficulty, hardship.

What mountains are you facing? Maybe your current situation seems too big and your faith is too small. Ask God to use that “tiny” amount of faith to move mountains in your life and the strength to climb the ones that won’t move. You may be amazed!

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