Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Straight Line with a Crooked Stick

In talking about the difficult doctrine of God's ordaining and ruling over evil without being sinful himself (as in the preordained murder of his Son) John Piper offers this illustration from the life of Joni Eareckson Tada:

Perhaps some may think that this heady theology... is too high to be practically helpful. Joni Eareckson Tada and her coauthor Steve Estes have found it otherwise.
Joni has been almost completely paralyzed from the neck down from a diving accident when she was 17 years old. During a bleak period of doubt and anger, a friend introduced her to Steve Estes. They began to study the Bible together. 'She came to the classically Reformed belief that her injury was an expression of God's love. To put it simply, Scripture taught Tada that her soul was infinitely more important than her body.'
She explains, 'I was heading down a path of self-destruction [before my accident]... I was checking out a birth-control clinic to get some pills, because I knew I'd be sleeping with my boyfriend in college. Somewhere in that mess of emotions and regrets and falterings and failings, while making a sham of my Christian faith, somewhere in that desperation I said, "God, rescue me." And he did. I believe my accident was a direct answer.
Some people might want to say indirect, but I lean toward the old adage that God draws straight lines with crooked sticks.'

As Piper says, "The life of the godly is not a straight line to glory, but they do get there--God sees to it."

Taken from A Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper

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