Eareckson Tada: Jesus, My Friend

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

“Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person. Having neither to weigh words nor measure thoughts but pouring them all out like chaff and grain together — certain that a faithful hand will keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” — George Eliot

“If you have a friend like that, you have a treasure. Someone with whom you can peel back the layers of your heart, knowing that he or she will handle tenderly and loyally everything that’s revealed.

That’s why I consider Jesus to be my friend. Of course, there used to be times in prayer when I would get tongue-tied over whether or not I was praising Him properly. I would measure far too carefully my words, wondering if my prayer was progressing the way it should in a tidy order of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Sometimes I just gave up in frustration.

All the while, Jesus must have been waiting for me to simply peel back the layers of my heart and openly share a tumble of thoughts and confessions, like chaff and grain. He wanted to assure me that with His faithful hand He would keep what was worth keeping in my prayer and gently blow the rest away.

Jesus is a friend with whom you can feel safe.

Oh, the comfort of feeling safe with You, Jesus. Thank You for inviting me to pour out my thoughts to You in a tumble of praise and confession, thanksgiving, and petition. I praise You for being a true friend who loves at all times.”

-Joni Eareckson Tada, Diamonds in the Dust, January 22.

Eareckson Tada: Heavenly Citizenship

“‘Their destiny is destruction, their God is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.’ Philippians 3:19-21

Christians who think the most of the next world are usually those who are doing the most good in this present world. It is the person whose mind is only on earthly things who, when it comes to earth, does little good. C.S. Lewis expands on this, saying, “Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”*

Our verse today highlights what happens when your heart and mind is set on things above. Unlike the person whose mind is on earthly things, you begin to see yourself as a sojourner, a pilgrim on earth. You begin to appreciate your citizenship in heaven. You also begin to eagerly await the Lord’s return, and you anticipate the joy of having Him transform your body into one like His.

Those whose destiny is destruction may say that being so heavenly minded makes you no earthly good. Not so! Those whose minds are on heaven do earth a world of good.

When you realize that your citizenship is in heaven, you begin acting as a responsible citizen should. You begin to invest wisely in relationships. Your conversations, goals, and motives become more pure and honest, and all of this serves you well not only in heaven but on earth. Heavenly minded people are for earth’s highest good.

Help me to understand, Lord, what it truly means to have my citizenship in heaven. And may I act as a heavenly citizen should while I temporarily reside here on earth.”

Joni Eareckson Tada, Diamonds in the Dust, January 24

*Draper, Edythe, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, 1992, p. 305.

Eareckson Tada: Hunger

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” —Deuteronomy 8:2-3

Humans get hungry and not just for food but for a whole range of desires and dreams. Hunger to have hopes fulfilled and longings answered seems to be built into us. Sometimes our hunger gets us into trouble, and we wish we could curb our appetites. But in Deuteronomy 8:2, you’ll be surprised to learn who gives us these longings. The Lord is the one who causes us to hunger. He is the one who has put within us our desires and yearnings. At first, this seems odd. Doesn’t God know that the “hungries” often get us into trouble? God has good reasons for giving us such large appetites. He has placed within us desires and dreams in order to test us and humble us, to see what is in our heart, to see whether or not we would follow Him.He causes us to hunger so that we might learn to feed on the Bread of Heaven, to live on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

To hunger is to be human, but to hunger for God is to feed on Him. Hunger and thirst after His righteousness and feed on Him in your heart. Taste and see that the Lord is good; it is He who will fill you to satisfaction.

I am prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. I’m prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my beart, please take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

-Joni Eareckson Tada, Diamonds In the Dust, January 14.