Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends. It’ll be Epiphany Sunday this weekend and it always makes me think of the Reformed Episcopal Church I grew up in. There they preached the gospel, read the liturgy, sang hymns from the heart and they kneeled in prayer. Worship was a serious thing, and I learned as a child what it meant to bend my knees before the Lord.
Now, I’m not making a big thing of kneeling in prayer, it’s just that I sure wish I could do it. Being paralyzed in a wheelchair, it’s impossible to literally bend my knees and bow in prayer. But I remember not long ago, I was at a banquet at a big conference and I was sitting, along with everyone else in this huge banquet room.
At the close of the message, the speaker asked everyone to do something unusual. He asked us to push our chairs away from our tables and, if we feel comfortable in doing so, get out of your chair and kneel on the carpeted floor in prayer. Well, I sat there in my wheelchair and I watched as everyone else in the room – there had to be maybe 500 or 600 people—all of them got out of their chairs and they got down on their knees for a brief time of worship. With everyone kneeling in the banquet room, I sat there kind of standing out. I looked around and I was sticking up, way up, the only one sitting there in this huge room. And looking around, I could not stop the tears.
Oh, and I was not crying out of pity. I mean I wasn’t crying because I felt strange or different that I was the only one sitting. No, my eyes were wet because it was so beautiful to see everyone kneeling in prayer. And it made me think of the day when I, too, will be able to get up out of this wheelchair on new resurrected legs.
I can’t wait for that day because when I get my glorified body, the first thing I’m going to do with my resurrected legs is to fall down on grateful, glorified knees. I will once again have the chance to say with Psalm 95:6, “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
You know, I realize that in heaven I’ll have the chance then to jump and dance and walk and run. It will be my privilege, a new body that can move will be a blessing for a job well done on earth, but I think that kneeling very still on bended knees, glorified knees. I think when I get to heaven that’ll be my sacrifice of praise. To not move, when I will be able to move, will be my one last chance to show the Lord how thankful I really am.
Today would you flip to Psalm 95:6 read it aloud and then do what it says? Kneel before the Lord God your Maker and be grateful, would you, for your knees that bend.
I hope you’ve been inspired and refreshed by our time together today. I just want you to know that I treasure these few minutes we have together. And I’d like to hear from you, I’d like to hear your story. Write me today, would you, at PO Box 3333 Agoura Hills, CA 91376. Or you can always visit Joni’s Corner at joniandfriends.org.
Featured Resources From Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope
Discover the secret to peace, joy, and hope in times of anxiety as the beloved author of Joni weaves contemporary insights with the timeless wisdom of seventeenth-century monk Brother Lawrence.The Practice of the Presence of Jesus offers wisdom from these two everyday saints, writing nearly four hundred years apart, that teaches you how to experience the nearness of God in your life. Through rich devotional content from Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence of God, and through original art and new meditations from Joni, you’ll encounter a unique weaving of past and present spiritual reflections on a God who never changes.As we recognize God with us moment by moment, our mundane becomes holy. Our pain becomes peace-filled. And our uncertainties fade into the greatest, most certain hope of all.