Some of the best advice we can ever receive is from those who have “been there.” Our hearts resonate with personal testimonies of overcoming trials and finding joy — particularly finding joy in the midst of trials.
Some of the best advice I’ve gleaned has been from Joni Eareckson Tada. Whether reading her books, hearing her share at an event or listening to her messages on her radio programs, I always have pen and paper nearby to take notes.
Joni doesn’t downplay her trials – she’s very transparent about her struggles as she speaks to her source of strength. One of my favorite Joni quotes is:
“The weaker I am, the harder I must lean on God’s grace; the harder I lean on him, the stronger I discover him to be . . .”
So, when Joni was asked in a radio interview last week, “What would you tell your younger self?” . . . I listened intently. I knew whatever it was she was going to say in response, it would minister to me.
And indeed, her response was something I will not soon forget:
“I wish I’d spent more time with Jesus . . . more time in His Word . . . loving Him more.”
Both Joni and Ken went on to share about a fight they’d had 18-20 years ago, sitting in the living room in silence, not talking to one another and then Ken saying,
“We’ve got to do something. We can’t resolve this but we can pray. And maybe this means we’ve got to get deeper into the Word. We’ve got to start reading the Bible.”
And that decision birthed their commitment to reading the Bible together yearly. They’ve now been doing that for years.
As Ken and Joni shared more about the importance of spending time in His Word, they further underscored that their commitment to reading the Bible and spending time with Jesus is about hope in the midst of life’s journey, not about solutions.
“that we will go through our ups and downs but that having Jesus really changes our perspective. “Without Jesus, I don’t know how we would make it.”
“We want hope, but how do we get it? In Him are the answers to all our deepest longings. He is the blessed hope, the infinite hope.”
That’s good advice no matter your age or season of life!
(Watch and hear Joni and Ken’s interview on KWVE’s Pastor’s Perspective here.)