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Voici pourquoi Joni Eareckson Tada et Steven Estes ont écrit le livre « Quand Dieu pleure »

Here's why Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes wrote the book "When God Cries"

I met Joni in the summer of 1969, in the parking lot of a church. Hundreds of other teens and I had just noisily left the building after the youth group had met. Everyone dispersed, the engines started, music from radios blared in the air, laughter erupted everywhere and antics raged on.

A white family car was parked close to the sidewalk. Oddly enough, having my friend Diana in possession of the keys kept the car from looking like a middle-aged vehicle. Diana had the most bubbly personality in the world. She was standing near the front door on the passenger side. She pulled an empty wheelchair out of the back seat to unfold it. She wanted to introduce me to the paralyzed friend she had told me about. From where I was, I couldn't see the face of the tall girl sitting in the front seat. I could just see the splints around his wrists.

"Steve, I want to introduce you to Joni. »
« Hi Joni. "

A face tilted to look. Elegantly styled short blonde hair. A cute face covered in freckles. A snub nose. A bright smile, but bittersweet - sweet because, if you know Joni, that's just who she is. Bitter, because she gave the impression that this chair had stolen something precious from her.

"Hi Steve! Glad to meet you. Cheerful, but hesitant.
"You two have a lot to say to each other," Diana said excitedly. We agreed it would be fun to spend time together.

A week later, I entered the house of stone and wood that I have always considered the hallway of paradise. Deer antlers were enthroned above each fireplace, Indian rugs were scattered here and there. Candles, and more candles. Simon & Garfunkel on the record player, laughter in every room and the infectious kindness of the parents and sisters from whom Joni got her beautiful smile.

Once alone, however, it took less than ten minutes for the question to emerge.

"So, Diana says you are a great connoisseur of the Bible. Tell me, do you think God has something to do with my paralysis? She casually brushed a section of hair from her forehead with the back of her wrist, but there was nothing nonchalant in her gaze.

Here is the crux of the book you are about to read.

Here I am, an insignificant sixteen-year-old boy, a newspaper delivery man, sitting across from the girl who, two years earlier, was probably the most popular of his huge class at school. The crowd she was running with, I only saw her on the other side of the gym. And now look at her! I tap my foot to the rhythm of James Taylor's music playing in the background; she just moves her head. I eat my own lunch, and she, someone has to feed her. I will go through this screen door in about thirty minutes; she will remain seated in this chair until the Grim Reaper comes. And she wants to know if I think God put her in this situation? Who am I to open my mouth?

I know what the Bible says about his question. A dozen passages come to mind from years in church and a Christian father who taught his children well. But I have never tested these truths in such a difficult situation. I've never experienced anything worse than a D in algebra or a first love that goes wrong. Yet I think if the Bible cannot apply to this young girl's life, I should never have taken her seriously.

I clear my throat and jump into the water.

"God put you in that chair, Joni I don't know why, but if you trust him instead of resisting him, you'll know why - if it's not in this life, it will be in it. 'other. He let you break your neck, because he loves you. "

Oh, that sounded like a lot of platitude to me, but not for her, apparently. We read a few verses and I went home. From that day forward, I had to study diligently, just to stay one step ahead of her; she still had her nose in this Bible.

This book is about God who weeps over human suffering, himself experiencing our anxieties and love which prompts him to let us suffer. This book is about tasting God's friendship during difficult trials that he has also gone through without our realizing it. Much of this work is written from Joni's perspective, because his life is such a remarkable laboratory that proves God knows what he's talking about.

But your life is an important laboratory for testing the Word of God as you read it. Do God's thoughts about suffering seem trivial to you?

Steve Estes


Where have the years gone?

I can still see Steve Estes, hunched over his Bible by the fireplace, only getting up to put another log in the fireplace. He quickly moved from the Old to the New Testament, found the page, followed with his finger to the bottom of a column, and pointed at the verse to answer my most recent question.

“O.K., Jon, now follow me. Listen to this, in Ephesians chapter 3: "The point is that ..." he said, as if the engine was humming with little taps on the accelerator. And it was on a road of questions, we bumped into it, we stopped, we went back, then we set off again by making a detour or two, before ending our meeting after the last log in the fireplace. has finished burning, leaving only embers. He was as pure and young as I was eager to see the truth work. So, then, we continued on to the next Bible study, he enthusiastically pointing out salient scripture verses, and I trying to keep up with his pace and not miss a thing.

If God is love, why suffering?
What is the difference between allowing something and ordering it?
When misfortunes occur, does God collude with the devil?

br> How can he expect to see me happy like this?

"Hold that thought!" Steve yelled over his shoulder as he walked to the kitchen to get another can of Coke.

There has never been a more enjoyable time than these years of exploring the Bible. Our adventure was to travel the road as far as it would take us in order to know God in suffering. Thirty years later, we have passed a few milestones and suffered the bumps and bruises that come with age and wisdom. Fortunately, we both have spouses, Verna and Ken, who continue to cheer us on. Much has changed, but one thing remains: our friendship still revolves around the Son.

Another thing is constant. Suffering. In some ways, it's even more painful. My bones hurt with all the time I have spent sitting in a wheelchair. Also, I am tired of struggling with the pervasive limitations of my paralysis. Still, it's still an adventure (even if what I'm learning is just an echo of those early years, as if I just had to probe greater depths).

I never imagined, back then, as I sat by that fire at a late hour, in front of empty Coca-Cola bottles, that the answers discovered then would have such powerful repercussions today. hui After decades of quadriplegia and almost as many years of meeting people in situations as bad if not worse than mine, I continue to pass these truths on.

These are not so much truths about suffering as they are about God. This is why I present this book with the premise: When God Cries is not so much about grief as it is about the only Person who can explain the meaning of suffering. It is not why our suffering matters to us (although it is), but why the Almighty sympathizes with our suffering. Another premise: we believe the Bible is the Word of God, the Hebrew Bible being fulfilled in the New Testament, each book being an immovable stone in the foundation of truth. The Bible is the proven road map used in this book.

I knew I couldn't handle such a strong subject on my own. It requires experience and learning. I bring experience and Steve Estes, with his many years of seminary study, brings scholarship. He has graciously lent his gifts of writing and teaching so that together we can train you through these same difficult questions.

During one leg of the journey (Chapters 2-6) the study and writing are Steve's. Your heart and mind will be stirred, as it was to me when he first introduced me to these ideas in "Who is this God?" », Sitting next to my wheelchair. Steve writes about hell in the twelfth chapter, and I continue about heaven in the last chapter. Appendices A and C are from him as well. We hammered out the outline of the book together (several times!) And tweaked our work on each other, spurred by years of study on the subject of suffering.

One last thing. "In the evening come tears, and in the morning joy": joy for those who suffer, but especially for God. It is my prayer and Steve's that through this book you can better understand why our crying matters to the God of love. A God who will one day explain the meaning behind every tear.

Even with her tears.

Joni Eareckson Tada

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