Joni Eareckson Tada on Something Greater than Healing
Image: Manuello Paganelli

Joni Eareckson Tada might be mistaken for a modern-day Job. The disabilities advocate was severely paralyzed in a diving accident at age 17. For the past ten years, she has endured chronic pain. Now, at age 60, she confronts breast cancer. Sounding upbeat and confident after surgery, she spoke with Christianity Today about her latest book, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty (David C. Cook), where she outlines her theology of suffering.

How has your perspective on suffering and healing changed since your breast cancer diagnosis?

Thankfully, it hasn't changed at all. You examine Scripture again and follow every passage regarding healing. I did that with my quadriplegia, and I did that again 10 years ago, when I embarked on a whole new life of chronic pain. Just a month ago, getting diagnosed with breast cancer, I looked at those same Scriptures, and God's words do not change.

Even though it seems like a lot is being piled on, I keep thinking about 1 Peter 2:21: "To these hardships you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps." Those steps most often lead Christians not to miraculous, divine interventions but directly into the fellowship of suffering. In a way, I've been drawn closer to the Savior, even with this breast cancer. There are things about his character that I wasn't seeing a year ago or even six months ago. That tells me that I'm still growing and being transformed. First Peter 2:21 is a good rule of thumb for any Christian struggling to understand God's purposes in hardship.

Can you elaborate on new ways you think about God's character?

In ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current Issue
Gleanings: June 2017 Subscriber Access Only
Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our June issue).
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickSasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
Ben Sasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
The Nebraska senator wants parents to get serious about shepherding kids into responsible adulthood.
A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
David C. Cook
2010-09-01
224 pp., feeditem.price%%
Buy A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty from Amazon
Christianity Today
Joni Eareckson Tada on Something Greater than Healing
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.