What Joni Eareckson Tada Learned From Nearly 53 Years in a Wheelchair

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What Joni Eareckson Tada has learned from nearly 53 years in a wheelchair
Joni Eareckson Tada gives the benediction at the close a session of the Republican National Convention, 2004.

Joni Eareckson Tada went swimming at the age of seventeen with her sister in the Chesapeake Bay. She dove into shallow water and severed her spinal cord. As a result, she has spent more than fifty years in a wheelchair, unable to move her lower body or hands.

Joni has become a bestselling author, renowned speaker and painter (she moves the brush with her mouth), and beloved figure in the Christian world.

In a podcast interview published yesterday, she was asked to explain a statement she made recently: “In the worst of times, Christians can and should be at their best.” 

She replied, “I think we are at our best when we remain hopeful, confident in God and his hold on the future, and also prayerful and expectant.” Then she made this powerful statement: “I’m a big believer that God permits what he hates to accomplish things that he loves, and that’s been my mantra for almost fifty-three years in this wheelchair. 

“God permits what he hates, this difficult, paralyzing injury, to accomplish something that he loves, and that is, of course, in me, a changed heart and a closer walk with my God. So, that’s it in a nutshell.” 

Dr. Jim Denison is the CVO of Denison Forum. His Daily Article and podcast globally reach over 200,000 subscribers. Dr. Denison guides readers to discern today’s news—biblically. He is the author of multiple books and has taught on the philosophy of religion and apologetics at several seminaries.

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