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Words of Life

Stepping Up

By Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada June 21, 2015 Words of Life

As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distress… in hard work, sleepless nights… in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; and the Holy Spirit and in sincere love…

2 Corinthians 6:4-6

In the spring of 2010, on another Wild Adventure excursion, this time to Abaco in the Bahamas, Ken studied a new John Eldredge book with another group of men. During their discussion time, Ken told the guys about a personal decision he had made. 

When he got back home, he intended to take one full day a week for a month to just “listen to God,” and then to journal whenever he heard. And that’s what he had done. At first, he found it very difficult to concentrate. He would be sitting out in the backyard, hearing cars on the street, planes buzzing overhead, and even rock music from his neighbor’s stereo. Then, over time, those noises had strangely receded, and all he could remember hearing were the birds. 

He had felt very close to God that month. Closer than he could ever remember. 

It’s not that he heard God speak every time, but the communication line was certainly open. The sense of closeness with his heavenly Father, however, was all he could have asked for. It wasn’t like those old days in high school during football practice when he had recognized his dad at a distance watching him through the chain-link fence but making no effort to greet or acknowledge his son. Not so much as a lifted hand. No, this was a Father who came near, just as He promised in Scripture: “Come near to God and he will come near you” (James 4:8). 

Ken had set his heart to do that – to come as near to God as he could. 

In June, Joni received her diagnosis of breast cancer. And when Ken went to his backyard sanctuary to hear from the Lord, he found the line to heaven still open. God spoke a message of deep comfort. Ken heard the same words again and again. “Be not afraid.” 

He was so grateful that the Lord had drawn him into that quiet place again and again over the past month. He didn’t have to go looking for the Lord in this time of heartbreak; he knew right where He would be. 

And He was. 

Then the words came back to him: “Joni is the most precious gift I have given to you. Take care of her.”

“I’ll take care of her, Lord,” he told Him through tears. “I promise.” 

And he did.


Watch Joni and Ken this Tuesday on LIFE TODAY. Taken from Ken & Joni: An Untold Love Story by Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada. Copyright ©2013 by Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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