God’s Gladness

God’s Gladness
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
John 15:11
One night at 2:00 a.m. I panicked. A bad flu on top of paralysis had my mind playing weird games. If the Father loves me so much, then why overload my circuits with all this hardship?! I did a split screen in my head; since I couldn’t emotionally go to the Father with my panicky feelings, I found myself running to the Son. I realize the Father and the Son are one, but at 2:00 a.m. with the flu, paralysis and a pounding headache, I seemed to identify best with Jesus who also suffered.
The next morning after I felt better, I re-anchored my soul deep into the biblical truth that, yes, the Father is full of love. He is joy and happiness spilling over. He swims in elation. And because the Son is the exact representation of the Father, both persons of the Trinity are driven to share that joy with us (Hebrews 1:3). But God is nobody’s water boy. As the solemn King of the universe, He shares His gladness on His own terms. Those terms call for us to suffer, in some measure, as did His beloved Son while on earth.
Should we never taste pain when our Savior had to swallow it whole? Jesus is the Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief. How can we say we know Him if we don’t experience at least some of that grief? We may not understand His reasons, but we are insane to fight Him on this issue. He is ecstasy beyond words and it is worth anything to be His friend — even at 2:00 a.m. with paralysis and a pounding headache.
Father God and precious Son, thank You that You invite me into Your joy in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. May my afflictions this day draw me deeper into Your fellowship, and may I experience all the divine joy I can contain!
Joni and Friends
Taken from Pearls of Great Price
Copyright © 2006
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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