On healing and cardboard boxes

I have been reading a wonderful book written by Joni Eareckson-Tada called “A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty”. If you haven’t heard of Joni, I’ll give a brief background. She is an accomplished author and advocate for the disabled. She  sings and paints and hosts a radio show. What is so remarkable about this is that she was in a diving accident in 1967, at the age of 17, and has been a quadriplegic ever since. Her entire adult existence spent in a wheelchair, completely dependent on others. And yet she lives and breathes and inspires others to do the same (you know, to live).

Joni talks about the issue of divine healing. I know God can heal, and I have prayed countless times for it. Yet physical healing hasn’t happened for me. And some Christians will try to say if you’re not healed it’s because of a secret sin, or lack of faith. I’m here to declare that’s horse dookie. God will heal me, in His time.

Besides, if He isn’t healing me now, I trust that it is for a purpose. What that is exactly, I can only speculate. In fact, I believe God shared some of it with me today, through Joni’s book. She was describing the great analogy of the treasures in jars of clay, or in modern terms, gifts in a cardboard box. The box is just what holds the gift. It does not need to be fancy or even well-made. In fact, the more beat up the box looks, the more the gift inside will stand out. Do you see? Light shining through the dark, a gift glowing out of a cardboard box. The plainer the packaging, the brighter the light shines.

So I can understand why God has allowed my ears and eyes to fail. My disability brought me home, and gave me the gift of time. Time to give to my family and friends and ultimately, to God. That gift of time is the shining light in the darkness of hearing and vision loss. If the latter were the means to that end, I am thankful for all of it.

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