A Spectacle of Glory: A Devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada with Larry Libby
The story of Joni Eareckson Tada is a remarkable one indeed, someone who has lived as a quadriplegic for over fifty years and yet been full of faith and trust in the living God. This new devotional, A Spectacle of Glory, is a book that combines practical wisdom, scriptural insights, and application from a life given over to reveling in God’s light every day. Yet, one of the greatest assets of this devotional is the way Joni uses her own experience through suffering to shed light on how God brings about his good work through it all, identifying with the certain struggles and sometimes literal pain of those who she’s writing about.
The parts in the book that fueled my spirit were Joni’s prayers at the end of each day. One day after looking at the connection between sharks swimming with their mouth open and Christians being called to keep moving for Christ, Joni wrote, “Lord, forgive for dwelling on past hurts and disappointments – or faded tributes or long ago moments in the spotlight. Fill me afresh with your Spirit and your Word.” (54) We very often remember the past and bring it to mind as we experience life, especially the wrongs people have committed against us, but this kind of activity prolongs bitterness and anger. Joni reminds her readers that forgiveness is both a continual thing for present sins and for holding onto the past too tightly.
Another aspect of this book that might seem very insignificant but is very key is the texture of Joni’s faith. In one devotional day she writes, “Others may whine and gripe about the world “going to hell and a handbasket,” but honestly, we know better. We know that good will ultimately triumph. So let’s show what this ultimate good will look like by rolling up our sleeves and helping neighbors, feeding the hungry, and surprising people with courtesy and care in Jesus’ name.” (294) We become cynical and whiny by looking to the headlines and not having the hope of Christ in our lives. Joni reminds us of the beauty of the faith by reminding that God is the one who is steering the ship in the right direction.
Thanks to Handlebar and Zondervan for providing a copy of this book for review.