See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. (Hebrews 12:15 NRSV)
Billy Graham tells of meeting a young man at one of his crusades who was confined to a wheelchair. The young man was suffering in the last stages of terminal cancer, and he had met too many well-meaning Christians who had promised him a miraculous healing.

At the crusade the speaker was Joni Eareckson Tada. At the age of 17 Joni was paralyzed in a diving accident. She too had prayed for healing. Yet she remained confined to a wheelchair. Joni spoke from her heart, confessing her early anger at remaining crippled after praying. But a miracle did take place in her life, though not the one she had been praying for. Instead God met her in her pain and gave her life new meaning and a new direction in spite of her disappointment.

Joni's honesty set that dying young man free. He was able to let go of his bitterness and anger. Instead he came to see Christ in a new way. He simply gave his life back to his loving Father by giving himself completely to Jesus Christ.

Dear God, take away my bitterness as I give myself completely to Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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