Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Cup of Anguish

February 14, 2019
00:00 4:00

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a beautiful poem from a good friend.

And I’m a big fan of good poetry, especially poems that have been written in the furnace of affliction. I have a friend like that. Her name is Lisa Marie and honestly, she is such an inspiration to me. When Lisa was around 12 or 13 years old, she started suffering from unusual achiness in her joints; she was always seemed tired and listless. Her parents took her to one doctor after the next, but they never got a clear diagnosis. The achiness and tiredness turned into exacerbating pain, and an overwhelming weariness. Brain fog and super-sensitivity to light and sound eventually drove her indoors when she would spend long periods in bed. Finally, it was determined that Lisa Marie was dealing with an unusual form of Lyme’s disease, among other autoimmune disorders.

But as her body declined, her heart inclined to God. Her young faith took a beating, but her disease could not defeat her. At the age of 20, Lisa Marie became bedridden. It’s not what any young girl would want, and Lisa Marie kept praying and hoping that things would get better; that they would come up with a treatment for this strange Lyme’s disease gone crazy that relegated her to one room in her house, and a dark room at that, given her sensitivity to light.

Get this – that was 20 years ago. And now Lisa Marie is more than 40 years old and she is still in the same situation, living daily with pain that most medications just can’t reach. Yes, and she is still in her bedroom, spending most of her time in the dark. Lisa Marie wears sunglasses when she works on her computer and so this valiant woman is able to write inspirational poems and she posts them on our private pain pal page. Not only that, she prays regularly for each of us in our pain, interceding with great empathy and bolstering our spirits with comforting scriptures. She wrote a poem recently that touched me so much—touched all the “Pals”; I just had to read it for you. She calls it “Cup of Anguish.” And it goes: “Sometimes it all seems too much, This overflowing anguished cup. I say, “I can’t. I’m not this tough.” But then I see upon that tree, The Man of Sorrows slain for me – Unshakable even to death. And though my strength has nothing left, I feel a deep, steadying Breath. For a sacrifice so infinite, May my gratitude be evident. In Your strength, I know I can. So, precious Lord, with all I am. I surrender to Your perfect plan.”

Right underneath her poem, Lisa Marie wrote Psalm 119, verse 143, “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me; yet Your commandments are my delights.” Well, I think you can tell Lisa finds the Word of God her biggest delight; it’s what sustains her day in and day out as she lies on her bed.

Hebrews tells us to encourage one another daily, and that’s what I hope Lisa’s story has done for you. If you are troubled and you feel as though anguish has taken over, remember the power and protection, even the delight that is found in the word of God. Because if the Bible, as well as God’s grace, can sustain Lisa Marie, on her bed for some 20 years, He can be your help. By the way, if you’d like a copy of Lisa Marie’s poem called “Cup of Anguish,” just download it off of my radio page at Or for a hard copy, write to Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills California, 91376. God bless you today and thanks for listening at Joni and Friends.

By: Joni Eareckson Tada

© Joni and Friends

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About Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope is a broadcast ministry of Joni and Friends committed to bringing the Gospel and practical help to people impacted by disability around the world. Joni and Friends has been advancing disability ministry for over 40 years. Their mission to glorify God, communicate the Gospel and mobilize the global church to evangelize, disciple and serve people living with disability answers the call found in Luke 14 to “bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame… so that my house will be full.”

About Joni Eareckson Tada

Paralyzed as the result of a diving accident at age 17, Joni Eareckson Tada envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. As the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, she is known worldwide as an author, speaker, disability rights advocate and radio personality. Her 10,000 radio programs are broadcast across the country and around the world, inspiring listeners to realize that there is hope in every hardship.
Joni Eareckson Tada is an esteemed Christian stateswoman and respected global leader in disability advocacy. Although a 1967 diving accident left her a quadriplegic, she emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others with similar disabilities. Mrs. Tada serves as CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian organization which provides programs and services for thousands of special-needs families around the world. President Reagan appointed Mrs. Tada to the National Council on Disability, then reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. During her tenure, the ADA was passed and signed into law. Mrs. Tada served as advisor to Condoleezza Rice on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She served as Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The Colson Center on Christian Worldview awarded Joni Tada its prestigious William Wilberforce Award, and she was also inducted into
Indiana Wesleyan University’s Society of World Changers. 
Joni Eareckson Tada has been awarded several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humanities from Gordon College and Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. She is an effective communicator, sharing her inspirational message in books, through artwork, radio, and other media. Joni Tada served as General Editor of the Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for people affected by disability. Joni and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California.

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