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Seeing Christ More Clearly on a Backdrop of Suffering

Joni Erickson Tada suffered a diving accident in 1967 which left her a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands. Mrs. Tada uses a beautiful illustration in one of her books. Suppose you have an expensive diamond you wish to display. How do you optimally enhance its beauty? Would you imbed it in hundreds of diamonds? No. You place it as a solitaire on a dark cloth. Then, you direct a single spotlight on it which reflects its beauty to the fullest.

Joni believes that her paralysis creates just such a dark backdrop through which Christ may be seen. This brings great credibility to Jesus Christ’s worthiness to be praised as the lost and saved alike marvel at her behavior in her circumstances! They think, "Where does she get such strength?"

My brother, my sister, God is capable and ready to use the circumstances of this life as a "dark backdrop" that Christ may be viewed against. Have you ever thought of this as an honor instead of a tragedy? Have you ever discovered what Joni has discovered, or are you swallowing the devil’s accusations against the Father that he slips into your mind with first-person singular pronouns? "God is not treating me fairly. I try so hard to please Him! I really think I deserve better than this! Especially when I see how He treats some Christians. Why, it’s as if He’s not even sensitive to my needs."

Our family has had some suffering; less than some Believers, more than others. One of them, as you know, was having Mason, our mentally retarded son. The brain in his earthsuit was faulty. He is much older now and has been in the presence of the Lord for many, many years.

Why would a loving God let Mason be born with an imperfect earthsuit? That doesn’t have an easy answer. But back in those dark and uncertain years, upon being told by the physicians that Mace was mentally retarded and learning to trust God moment by moment, we had to praise God by faith, not by tangible evidence, having no guarantee but God’s integrity.

God’s grace has proved to be abundant–not simply sufficient. Perhaps that is a difficult statement for some to accept, but one cannot deny that it provides a dark backdrop against which Christ, the Solitaire, is evident.

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.