Joni gave a great interview with Tabletalk Magazine for their October edition, Dealing with Death and Disease. You can read the entire interview here: A Purpose in the Pain: An Interview with Joni Eareckson Tada.
Here is an excerpt (paragraph formatting is mine):
TT: Which passages of Scripture have given you encouragement during your struggles with disability and cancer?
JT: Psalm 79:8 says, “May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need” (NIV).
Basically, I wake up almost every morning in desperate need of Jesus — from those early days when I first got out of the hospital, to over four decades in a wheelchair, it’s still the same. The morning dawns and I realize: “Lord, I don’t have the strength to go on. I have no resources. I can’t ‘do’ another day of quadriplegia, but I can do all things through You who strengthen me. So please give me Your smile for the day; I need You urgently.”
This, I have found, is the secret to my joy and contentment. Every morning, my disability — and, most recently, my battle with cancer — forces me to come to the Lord Jesus in empty-handed spiritual poverty. But that’s a good place to be because Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3, NIV).