Voices: God’s Jewels

Voices of the True Woman Movement

This is the seventh post in a series about Voices of the True Woman: A Call to the Counter-Revolution. Click links to see posts on prior chapters: one, two, three, four, five, and six.

In chapter 7 of Voices, Joni Eareckson Tada shares a message of hope in the midst of suffering. As a quadriplegic for over forty years, Joni speaks with a genuineness that comes from having known and lived with great suffering, as even now she continues to experience great bouts of pain in addition to her physical limitations. She begins by reminding us that we are God’s treasured possession (Malachi 3:16-17). And God’s greatest concern for us is not what makes us most comfortable; instead He works in our lives to teach us to grow up spiritually. Like a jeweler who works with a hammer and chisel to cut the finest gems, so God works in our lives to cut away the sin that covers the beauty of Christ in us. God allows suffering to work as a refining instrument. We are scrubbed and polished until we sparkle. Joni’s words can be challenging to echo:

Jesus was right when He said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Trouble is the textbook that teaches us who we really are. Trouble is what squeezes the lemon inside of us, revealing the stuff of which we are made. And it’s not always pretty.

Here’s the thing: I have not suffered greatly. Not like Joni. Not like my brother-in-law and his wife. I need you to know that, because I cannot speak from the experience of deep suffering. Though I have not suffered greatly in magnitude, I have suffered greatly in quantity. And sometimes I need to be reminded that just because my suffering pales in comparison to the suffering of others, it is no less the hand of God chiseling and scrubbing and polishing. Perhaps, like me, you need to remember that every day we face small struggles that give us the opportunity to complain or to grow, to allow the suffering (small as it may be) to be wasted or to be used by God to bring glory to Himself.

How are you responding to the Jeweler’s tools today?

In hope,
About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.