I was excited to find a brand new daily devotional by one of my favorite authors. Joni’s life story of God’s redemption of her paralysis is an inspiring testimony, and I highly recommend any of her books. Beside Bethesda: 31 Days Toward Deeper Healing is small in size but full of wisdom applicable to anyone living with struggle or disappointment . . . and who isn’t? Joni shares her own journey with the honesty and joy of someone who has experienced the hand of God in the “crucible of suffering” and found Him completely merciful even when the pain lingers. Her insights gained over decades of walking with Jesus while being confined to a wheelchair are straight from Scripture. The devotional is based upon the story told in John 5:2-9.
Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, having five covered colonnades. In these lay a number of disabled people—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in that condition for a long time already, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am on my way someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your mat and walk.” And immediately the man was healed, and he picked up his mat and started walking . . .
Joni models the possibility of finding peace and contentment in Christ whether or not physical healing is given in this life. I am inspired by her longing for Heaven as she imagines the new body she will receive, but more importantly, finally seeing Jesus face to face. You can find out more about Joni’s worldwide ministry on the website Joni and Friends.